By Heang Phira,

On March 16, 2010, Prolinnova Cambodia held its first National Working Group meeting of 2010 at CEDAC Institute for Local Development, Phnom Penh. There were 23 participants including 7 women. They represented 17 institutions: 8 provincial Departments of Agriculture (Prey Veng, Kandal, Takeo, Kampong Speu, Kampong Chhnang, Pursat Battambang and Svay Rieng), 3 NGOs (CEDAC, Srer Khmer, Aphiwat Strey), 3 educational institutions (Kampong Cham National School of Agriculture, Prek Leap National School of Agriculture and Royal University of Agriculture), the General Directorate of Agriculture, Farmer and Nature Net, and Thlork Commune Council in Takeo province.

Prolinnova Cambodia is a part of Prolinnova International, which is a multi-stakeholder network working to promote local innovation in ecologically-oriented agriculture and natural resource management. Currently, there are 21 institutions participating in Prolinnova Cambodia programs.

The purpose of the meeting was to review the 2009 Prolinnova Cambodia activities and to prepare the budget and work plan for 2010 programs, which mainly focus on farmer experimentation. A SWOT analysis was also conducted.

The meeting helped make participants aware of changes in the network activities and approach, including new activities such as a training workshop on leadership toward local innovation, establishing a network of farmer-researcher leagues and mainstreaming PID (Participatory Innovation Development) into university education curriculum. In addition to being well updated on the Prolinnova Cambodia program, new members learned the procedure to develop farmer experimentation proposals for funding assistance from the program.