Phnom Penh, August 18 – 20: Thirty trainees from various NGO networks (9 women), came together for a three-day training course called “Agricultural Cooperatives: Policies Issue, Business Plan and Market” organized by NGO Forum and the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries.
The course was formed in order to provide more knowledge to NGO partners, so they will be able to improve their work and the cooperative become more productive. The specific objectives of this session aimed to improve the trainees’ awareness on:
1. The basic rules of an agricultural cooperative and its benefits
2. The seven steps to create an agricultural cooperative
3. Planning in the areas of marketing production, , management organizations finance
4. The foundations of business, business evaluation and self-assessment
5. How agricultural cooperatives choose their type of businesses
6. The important elements in business for agricultural cooperatives
“There were some challenges in this training course because most of the participants have limited knowledge about the particular skills. In addition, there new technical words they had never heard before, it was a bit difficult for them. However, they tried really hard in class and they saw how important the lessons were to their work and communities,” said Mr. Ouk Saroeun, the Leading Trainer in the session.
Even though there were challenges in this training, the learners were very interested and paid attention to every lesson provided, as Ms. Ang Cham Roeun from NAPA and member of NDF-C said, “I have to admit there were a lot of new words in the lessons that made it hard for us hard but the training lessons were very beneficial to us. In two days, I have learned so many new concepts and ideas which I will apply to improve my agriculture cooperative. . There were difficulties but we learnt a lot.”
Mr. MAK Soeun, Director of the Department of Agriculture Extension, from the , Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries also talked to participants about the Strategic Action Plan and Paddy Rice Export Policy in order to build more understanding about the governments rice export policy in 2015. He added that his Ministry, especially, his department have worked hard to educate and raise awareness among farmers so they can understand about new agricultural techniques, new crops that are resistant to climate change, and are demanded by the market and have a good price.
“This is part of our working mission to improve the working capacities for our partners by building strong foundations, we believe they will be able to strengthen existing agriculture cooperatives and share this knowledge to the various stakeholders they are working with,” Mr. Tek Vannara, Executive Director of the NGO Forum stated during the training session.
Different training methods were used and the participants enjoyed the learning theory, group discussions, and questions and answers together with actual examples.