Written by Nhep Mengcheang,

Sahakum Akpiwat Kaksekam Angkor Dong Tung, named in English “Dong Tung Rice Agricultural Development Cooperative” was found on 6th November 2008. The CBO was registered as “Agricultural Development Cooperative” on 08th June 2009 with Provincial Department of Agriculture (PDA). The cooperative consists of 55 members, of whom 18 are women. This CBO is located in Trapaing Rosey Village, Damnak Sokrom Commune, Dong Tung District, Kampot Province. The objectives of establishment this cooperative are shown as follows:

• To buy and sell collectively paddy
• To mill paddy for rice selling
• To conduct collective saving and to provide credit service
• To promote agro ecological innovation
• To communicate and negotiate with business man in terms of price negotiation

Since October 2008, CEDAC started implement the project, namely CSPPM to support this CBO. By the support, the CBO was registered with CSPPM on December 2008. After registered, the project provided more coaching and training sessions and follow up support to CBO executive members as follows:

• Strengthening the CBO on practical management and leadership;
• Facilitating the CBOs to assess what is real needs of their members and priority of those needs;
• Training CBO on proposal writing;
• Facilitating the development of small grant project on community management for submission to CRS;
• Training CBO executive members on CIP development process and how to participate and raise voice or advocate to stakeholders for putting more emphasize on natural resource management and community business.

Although CBO was formed and recognized by Commune Council for improving the need of community both food and price of goods; but it has not yet been supported by government line agencies, especially the Provincial Department of Agriculture (PDA). Additionally, executive members and community are working collectively on rice business (collective buying and selling), but the CBO have not yet have enough voice for an effective negotiation on business and officially recognition from the PDA. By understanding of the problem, the executive members with the technical support from CEDAC have consulted with the community farmers on how to increase/raise voice to businessmen and line agencies. Based on the consulting meeting, first CBO should be registered as “Agricultural Development Cooperative”, in order to
publicly announce to stakeholders and products, especially line agencies, local authorities and businessmen.

By supporting fund from small grant of CSPPM, the CBO organized the general assembly to finalize the regulation and election. During the general assembly, Mr Mak Seung, Director of Department of Agriculture Extension, Mr Chan Jesda, Director of Kampot PDA, Dr Yang Saing Koma, President of CEDAC and local authorities have also participated in the meeting.
Based on the result, Ministry and Department of Agriculture understood and recognized CBO. Additionally, CBO was registered and recognized officially as “Angkor Dong Tung Agricultural Development Cooperative” by the PDA of Kampot on 8th June 2009.
Being as “Agricultural Development Cooperative”, the CBO could be supported by MAFF both technical support and financial support. Actually, on 8th July 2009 the CBO was funded 1,500,000 riel for first stage from MAFF. In addition, MAFF and PDA promised to provide further support both technique and fund.

Since the cooperation with CSPPM, this CBO members impress that they are getting better in terms of knowledge and understanding on how to solve the problem, how to develop the proposal, what is the importance of cooperative registration as well aware of advantages of collective business and the natural resources. The cooperation and communication with line agencies has increased remarkably and PDA also have strong supported to this CBO.