My visit to Svay Rieng

On October 16, 2008 I was in Svay Rieng province to provide the support to Mr. San Sorn, the farmer community facilitator of the project “Improvement of the most Vulnerable Families for protection of human trafficking and unsafe migration”.

1. Review the activity work plan of October 2008

The monthly work plan was reviewed during my presence in Svay Rieng, normally we discussed to determine which activities have being done on tract and which activities are not being implemented yet and which reasons.

-It is to note that the number of interested farmers is only 335, so the project needs to select other 465 farmers to fulfill 800 total beneficiaries.
-So far, the project has organized 5 group training for the experimented farmers with the participation of 141 (97 women).
-24 key farmers were selected, the total expected key farmers will be selected is 42, in other word, 3 key farmers per village.

In total, 45% of the monthly activity plan has achieved starting from 01-16 October 2008. Therefore, we hopefully the rest of the activities will be completed on time as we have other 2 weeks for operation.

2. Individual interview and group training for experimented farmers

At the same day, I have interviewed 2 farmers, in Thom village, Thnot commune, Kompong Ror district, Svay Rieng province, who are suitable to select as key farmers. Generally, we have interviewed them about their understanding on the project, the agricultural techniques and their commitment to work as key farmers.

Additionally, we have visited the farms developed by those farmers in order to see their practice recently. We could observe that one of them is conducting a good practice in term of preparing vegetable garden and the farm of another one is not good due to the effect of flood.
Later on, we have organized one-group training for approximately 20 experimented farmers on the topic of introduction to vegetable production. The main topics of the training are illustrated as below:

-Advantages of growing vegetable and economic analysis
-Reading the case studied from farmer magazine related to vegetable production of a good farmer
-Method of producing solid compost and liquid compost
-The next training will be in-detail

The project staff will more often to conduct individual follow-up advice to those above interested farmers to improve their innovations practice. A few among them are the potential farmers who are able to play role as key farmers.

3. Preparation of agricultural output-based

Finally, we have discussed together with Mr. San Sorn about the expected output of the project in term of adoption of technical innovations. (Please see the annex table)
By doing so, we could know clear what do we expect to achieve in which timeframe.

4. General Conclusion

Generally, we could conclude that around 45% of the project’s activities are achieved during a half month of October. Hopefully, the project staff will be able to complete all the expected activities on time. Additionally, we could note that the project activity is moving forward, for instance we have organized 5 group training sessions for the experimented farmers so that the number of farmers who apply innovations will be accelerated simultaneously.

At the present, we could see that some farmers have improved their agricultural practice after the exposure visit to Prey Veng. In reality, some farmers have improved the vegetable seedbed and how to select a good seed.

3. Recommendation

Come up from the result of the visit, the following recommendations are taken into account:

-The project staff should allocate more time for the individual follow-up and one-to-one conversation with the cooperating farmers in order to increase their attention to agricultural practice.
-The project staff should invite representatives from department of women’s affairs to join the project planning and quarterly monitoring as it is time to do that.

-The learning materials especially the leaflets and posters of pesticide should be widely distributed to farmers in the project’s targeted area of Svay Rieng province as they use much amount of chemical pesticide for the IR rice variety. It will help to raise their understanding on negative impact of chemical pesticide to health, environment and economy.

-The project staff should copy VCD relating to technical innovations such as SRI, vegetable growing, ECR, etc to distribute to at least key farmers and other main farmers in order to disseminate the message of agricultural innovations. Majority of farmers are interested in watching and the VCD player is accessible in the villages.
-The exposure visit for the interested farmers in Prey Veng province should be organized soon so that those farmers can learn and apply at the same time as farmers in Svay Rieng.

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