On 31 March 2021, the NGO Forum on Cambodia (NGOF) hosted Launching Workshop on the Assessment Study on Understanding the Progress and Challenges of Implementing Agriculture Sector Development Plan 2019-2023 on via online meeting. There were 52 participants from Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), Ministry of Women Affairs (MoWA), PDAFF from Kampong Thom, Kratie, Kampot and Preah Vihear, PDoWA from Kampot, Kampong Thom and Kratie, University, Development Partners and INGOs and Agriculture Working Group members to joined this online meeting.
Keynote Address by Dr. Tek Vannara – Executive Director of The NGO Forum on Cambodia
With the funding support from Diakonia, HEKS/EPER and Oxfam, we have commissioned this study and organized this online workshop to launch the study report on the understanding the progress and challenges of the implementation of agriculture sector development plan (ASDP) 2019-2023. This workshop aims to 1) present and disseminate the study findings, and 2) to discuss with relevant stakeholders for a possible joint action plan that could enable stakeholders to work with the government to contribute to the implementation of the above ASDP in a better manner and for a better outcome.
This workshop is a virtual meeting through zoom as it has been a new normal for Cambodia and the world during this pandemic. Your participations in today workshop from ministries, development partners, academic, national and international NGOs have proved that we have actively engaged each other for such important work through we have been through hard time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The study serves the very important information and source for later discussion to contribute to the implementation of the existing policies, plans and guidelines as stimulated in the ASDP.
On behalf of the organizing committee, I do believe that your participation will inspire the discussion in establishing joint action plan to work with the government, MAFF and other in-charged ministries and institutions to accomplish the ASDP and Master Plan.
Opening Remark, Mr. Sok Khim, Representative from Oxfam
This is our launching workshop of the assessment report on ASDP 2019-2023. We have also organized a validation workshop once to gather more inputs to review and finalize this report prior to this launching.
As mentioned, Dr. Tek Vannara emphasizes on the importance of agriculture sector and the indicators for ASDP to be accomplished to assure economic benefits for our farmers. This report is essential to look back what have been practiced for ASDP for the last 2.5 years to now. This report highlights what achievements have been made and what have been the lessons to be reflected and to recommend to key stakeholders so that they are able to analyze what needs to work together among private and public sectors, civil society, and communities in order we can achieve the indicators as set in ASDP up to 2023. This is a result that aligns with the ASDP implementation.
I believe that the findings from the study will inspire the relevant stakeholders to support their work and to initiate the discussion for joint action plan to foresee and secure the completion of all indicators of ASDP in 2030 with great results and outcomes. As mentioned in the report, our ASDP is very inclusive and participatory that could guarantee the long-term benefits of our farmers and key stakeholders. Oxfam and other NGO partners have worked with PDAFF to disseminate the ASDP to farmers and other agricultural cooperatives in other provinces, so that farmers and PDAFF are more cooperative and supportive for each other. Also promoting the ASDP attracts more involvement from development partners and private sector. Whatever we have done is to assure that indicators set in the ASDP can be fully achieved. This is what Oxfam and partners have done and also other partners have supported such study. I believe that after this workshop, we will keep discussing together on the findings of the 2.5-year ASDP implementation to reflect the rest of the next plan of ASDP. I hope that ministries are well acknowledged the findings and allow more spaces for join action plan.
Presentation by Mr. Chan Danith and Mr. Chap Sophana, Independent Consultant
The ASDP 2019-2023 have been implemented for two years and it is time to understand the level of progress, challenges, and gaps that need to be fulfilled during the ASDP’s period 2019-2023. NGOF’s partners are supporting the implementation of programme 1 and 2 of ASDP 2019-2023. ASDP’s JMI 2019-2020 on Agriculture and Water has been arrived to the review phase before it goes to next JMI’s implementation 2021-2023. The purposes of the assessment:
- Review on ASDP 2019-2023 and its Joint Monitoring Indicators (JMI) to be implemented at sub-national level
- Assess and analyze the level of contribution, in which MAFF and PDAFF has achieved through Joint Monitoring Indicators of ASDP 2019-2023
- Identify the benefits and gaps in ASDP 2019-2023 in the development process and practical implementation at provincial level
- Develop policy recommendations for improving the implementation
SWOT Analysis of ASDP 2019-2023 Implementation at the sub-national level:
- There is direct support from Department of Planning and Statistics of MAFF to PDAFFs for ASDP preparation.
- Available budget for implementing the ASDP 2019-2023 at sub-national level.
- Available co-financing from ASPIRE project to implement the ASDP 2019-2023 at sub-national level.
- MAFF through ASPIRE project contracted 4 Provincial Agriculture Advisers to support the implementation of ASDP 2019-2023 in all provinces.
- PDAFF organigram/structure fits with the ASDP 2019-2023 indicators and PDAFF officials were trained in different skills to be able to support ASDP preparation at the early stage.
- Development partners support the implementation of ASDP 2019-2023 at both national and sub-national level such as IFAD, EU, FAO, Oxfam etc.
- ASDP aligned with NSDP 2019-2023 and legal frameworks which are guided by NCDDS.
- Many local NGOs directly support PDAFF to implement the ASDP 2019-2023 in respective provinces e.g. CWDCC, SAMAKY, Action Aid Cambodia etc. in Kampot; ANCO, CI, EPDO, ADRA, LWF, AFD, Sre Khmer in Pursat, etc.
- DPS/MAFF through ASPIRE project facilitated to develop PASDPs for all provinces.
- Officials from different line offices within PDAFF are not familiar about ASDP 2019-2023/JMIs indicators which are linked to their roles.
- Not sufficient budget from government and ASPIRE project to complete the implementation of PASDP across the provinces.
- PDAFF does not have its own PASDP to guide the implementation while the original sub-program 1.9, sub-program 2.4, sub-program 3.4, sub-program 4.4 and sub-program 5.14 were not clearly mentioned about the scope of work and the areas to be focused.
- Lack of regular meetings to update about the achieved indicators versus ASDP 2019-2023 indicators.
- The report system is not completely correspondent to ASDP 2019-2023 indicators therefore it is difficult to monitor the progress.
- ASDP 2019-2023 was approved in late 2019 which was delayed for almost 12 months for actual ground implementation.
- PASDP 2019-2023 of all PDAFFs just started its development process in 2nd semester of 2020 therefore it is difficult for PDAFFs to ensure the consistency and how its annual plans are in line with ASDP.
- The current PASDP 2019-2023 process is relied upon ASPIRE funding, so there is the implication of its implication of financial continuation beyond ASPIRE project completion by December 2021.
- NGOs’ inputs have not been well incorporated/reflected into PASDP documents. So, this creates big gap in term their contribution to PASDP’s targets.
- No official interaction/mechanism (meetings) between PDAFF/Government in place to dialogue about tracking the progress of PASDP implementation although some ad-hoc interactions with some NGOs were held.
According to the assessment’s findings, following recommendations were suggested:
- Host the ASDP 2019-2023 and JMIs 2019-2020 dissemination at the sub-national level to be able relevant agriculture actors/stakeholders
- To establish sub-national coordination and reporting platform
- MAFF to share widely the progress report of the implementation of PASDP/ASDP/JMIs to stakeholders at the sub-national level
- Speed up the innovative research and development on new seed varieties
- Reactive the contract farming and improve the recording system for processed agriculture products
- Intensify the resource mobilization for supporting to ASDP 2019-2023 implementation
- Take consideration on the modernization of the agriculture extension and facilitate access to input supplies at affordable costs for small-scale farmers.
Recap and Closing Remark by – Ms. Ros Chorvivorn, Representative from AWG Steering Committee Member
We thank all participants for joining the virtual meeting on the launching of the assessment report on ASDP progress and challenges. Through the presentation and discussion from morning to now, we accomplish what we plan as in the agenda. After the remarks and presentation by consultant, there are questions and answers with satisfactions. All comments, recommendations will be incorporated into the report and in the discussion with other technical working groups as mentioned by Dr. Tek Vannara. After this workshop, we have joint action plan together. The workshop provides fruitful discussions and the results will further inspire other workshops to reflect the implementation of other stakeholders of the ADSP 2019-2023.
I wish you all safe and free from COVID-19.