From 12-14 July 2010, Mr. Yim Sok Sophors went to CSPPM project in Chhouk and Dong Tong districts, Kompot Province. The mission aimed to conduct field test and gain some ideas for developing the questionnaire and checklist for CEDAC’s impact evaluation. It is to notice that the internal M&E team of CEDAC Field Program is going to conduct a CEDAC’s impact evaluation in August 2010.
During the field mission, I conducted some activities as follows:
I. Activity and Result
1). Chey Huol, 58 years old, chief of farmer association in Talang village
Based on the interview with Chey Huol, it is able to know that:
- Many farmer families are the members of the village based farmer association (156 out of 215 families).
- The association has a lot of capital, 38 million riels. Majority of borrowers used loan for investment, not for consumption.
- There are 9 farmer groups in the village, included disable farmer group. Those farmer groups cooperate to each other very well under the affiliation of the village based farmer association.
- The livelihood of the farmer families in the village has gradually improved after CEDAC’s intervention. For instance, the farmers have renovated their houses from leaf root to tile root, etc. The incomes from agriculture and agri-business contributed mainly to improve the family’s income and livelihood of the family. The families can send their children to school while they have gained the income.
- It is able to conclude that the management committee members of the village based farmer associations are qualified and committed to develop their village. The management committee members have high motivation, clear roles and responsibilities among the management committee members, and they regularly learn to improve their knowledge and capacity. At the same time, village chief and commune council members cooperate and support to farmer groups and farmer association in the village. Village chief and some of the commune council members are also the members of saving group and farmer association.
- Women are brave and have improved their capacity and played important role in family and community development. At the same time, domestic violence has reduced steadily.
Based on the interview, this village is very good progress. The main factor affected to the progress of the village is the commitment, knowledge and capacity of the management committee members of the village based farmer association. The management committee members are qualified and cooperated to each other very well to development the farmer groups, farmer association and the village. Therefore, it is able to recommend that CEDAC should highly attention to the capacity and leadership of the farmer leaders in the community.
2). Phann Kimhim, 45 years old, management committee member of the farmer association in Khcheay Khang Lech village
CEDAC have worked in this village since 2003. At the first time, CEDAC organized village general meeting to introduce its project and there were only 2 farmers who were interested in CEDAC. The two selected interested farmers experimented SRI innovation introduced by CEDAC even they seemed not really confidence in the innovation, however there receive a good result from their experiment. 6 key farmers were selected afterward. Compost making technique, principles of ecological chicken raising (ECR), family fish raising, and collective saving group were then introduced to the farmers. Phann Kimhim added that about 70% of the total families in the village applied innovations introduced by CEDAC. For instance, there were only 6 saving group members at the beginning, but now 186 people are the members of saving groups. The saving capital of this village is 152 million riels. This amount is very high if compare to amount of loan from outsiders (Prasac & AMK), which is only 2 million riels. At the same time, the farmers also understand well about negative effect of the external agricultural inputs especially chemical fertilizer and pesticide, the farmers strongly reduced volume of chemical fertilizer for rice cultivation, and farmers do not use pesticide. Besides, the farmer association also plays important role to rehabilitate the physical infrastructure in the village, specifically water gate was constructed by participation of local people and local authorities under the facilitation of the village based farmer association.
A widely dissemination of agricultural innovations is heavily relied on the key farmers/change agents in the village, there are 3-4 key farmers who play important role to disseminate agricultural innovations in the village. Therefore, the project staffs need to make much effort and pay highly attention to select the right people, to train them to become the key farmers or change agents in the village.
3. Small group discussion meeting in Trapaing Chrey village
During the mission, I also organized a small group discussion with several people in Trapaing Chrey village. It is to notice that CEDAC has been implementing its project CSPPM in this village for one year only. The project mainly focuses on voice of farmers, marketing activities, and natural resource management. The farmers were difficult to find impact happening in the village. However, the participants mentioned about the engagement between the community people and the local authorities and the progress of their saving groups.
In this village, the progress of agricultural innovation practice is not really progressing well due to the main intervention of the project is not focusing on agricultural extension. Although, the project staff also trained them some agricultural innovations as well as distribute Farmer Magazine to the farmers. The key farmers have not fulfilled their roles effectively due to the number of key farmers / management committee members applied agricultural innovations is limited.
II. Concluding Remarks
Based on the result of the field mission, it is able to know the impact happening in the community after CEDAC’s intervention. At the same time, it is also helpful to design the questionnaire and checklist for conducting CEDAC’s impact evaluation. Definitely, the result of this mission will be shared with other M&E team members on 15 July 2010 at CEDAC Office.
On the other hand, through this field mission, some ideas and lessons-learned were discovered. Furthermore, it also helped the farmers to reflect their progress and also provided them some ideas to improve the progress of their village.
 Oun Sophal and Phann Kimhim
 There are 174 families in the village