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Supporting farmer producer groups, horticulture and farmer water user groups in Mondul Kiri Province from 24-28 August 2019

Under the Biodiversity Conservation Corridors Project (BCCP), a group of project team conducted a field trip to Mondul Kiri province from 24 to 28 August 2019. The team comprised Mr. Sam Vitou, horticulture specialist, Mr. Seng Sophak, water User Group specialist and Mr. Yim Soksophors, Business Development specialist. The purposes of the field visit were 1) To assist farmer producer groups in developing internal regulation, 2) To monitor the progress of farmer water user groups and 3) farmers’ adoption in applying horticulture practices introduced by the project.
The project team asked for help from Ms. Neth Chhaiya to help arrange the appointment for farmer meetings in Pu Lesh and Pu Trom  villages concerning the farmer producer group and another meeting in Srae Thum village regarding the Farmer Water User Groups (FWUGs). In the same day, the reporting officer reviewed and prepared relevant documents for developing the internal regulation / statute of the fruit tree farmer produce groups and conducted phone call follow-up with the farmers for the meeting to be taken place in Pu Lesh and Pu Trom villages.
On 26 August 2019, Mr. Yim Soksophors conducted a meeting with five producer group management committee members in Pu Lesh village to develop the internal regulation or statute of the producer group. The producer groups will be set up at the commune level, meaning that it will cover three villages in Dak Dam commune. Specifically, rational background, objectives, key activities, management structures, roles of each management committee members, and  membership were discussed during the meeting. Mr. Samoeurn Ratana one of the group management committee will list down all the names of the producer groups members to put in the annex of the statute.
During the meeting, the participants proposed to have 7 management committee members because the association of fruit tree farmer producers will cover all three villages in Dak Dam Commune. With the seven management committee members, they hope that the management and operation of the association will go smoothly.
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Office of Forestry Community (CF) where the meeting with producer group management committee organized
It is to note that, in the same day, Mr. Sam Vitou and Mr. Seng Sophak conducted field monitoring to Srae Thum village to check the progress of farmers in applying the horticulture techniques and the status of the construction of the irrigation infrastructure.
On 27 August 2019, Mr. Yim Soksophors conducted a meeting with fruit tree producers in Pu Trom village, Sangkat Romnea, Saenmonorom Municipality, Mondul Kiri province. The purpose of the meeting was to assess the willingness of the fruit tree producers to set up the fruit tree producer group. There are some fruit trees commonly planted in Pu Trom village such as banana, avocado and soursop, they are potential for selling to buyers if they are formed into the fruit tree farmer producer group. Yet, fruit tree farmer producer group was formed in this village.
The facilitator/trainer introduced the name, objectives and agenda of the meeting. Normally, farmers sell their fruits individually, they have no mean to transport their products to provincial market in the Saen Monorom municipality, which enable them to sell at a higher price. In general, collectors come directly to buy fruits from individual farmers in the village and normally the price is much different between the farm gate price and the price at the provincial market.
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Farmer participants who attended the meeting in Pu Trom village.
Each participant presented type of fruit trees, the number of fruit tree and harvest they can produce per planting season or per year. This is easy to estimate the production capacity whether they can be formed into the farmer producer group or not.

Conclusion

Through this field mission, the internal regulation of the Dak Dam fruit tree farmer association was drafted. The farmer producers in this commune got a clearer understanding of their group’s rational background and objectives. They want to help community members improve fruit tree production and income through selling fruits to market with a better price. The fruit tree producers in Pu Trom village understood the advantages of the farmer producer group, formation of producer group, benefits of producer group, management structure or how the group, etc.
According to feedback from farmers who have land around the irrigation scheme, they are eager to know when the construction of the irrigation infrastructure to be started. This affects farmers’ participation in forming the Farmer Water User Groups. If the construction started, they will participate in the FWUG formation process. As of now, they still wonder if the irrigation infrastructure will be constructed or not.
It was found that members of VDFSGs are active in developing their home gardening to produce healthy vegetables for their family consumption. They understand the nutrition concept and try to diversify vegetables in their gardens.

Follow-up action

  1. Collect the list of members of Dak Dam fruit tree producer farmer association to put in the annex of the statute
  2. Check with community chief in Pu Trom village whether the farmers really want to set up the fruit tree producer group. However, it should be decided based on the project’s extension.
  3. Next meetings will be organized with the producer group to develop the collective business plan.

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