On July 20, 2010: Mr. Yim Sok Sophors project coordinator of IFWP-MP visited cooperating farmers of IFWP-MP in Pichrda district and some cooperating farmers in Koah Nheaek district. There were only few rains in Pichrda district, so the farmers started to cultivate the rainy season rice production. However, they just started to do it on the minority pieces of their rice fields. Some key farmers are also cultivating rice, but not all of them are applying the SRI principles while they are waiting for adequate rain. Through the interview with key farmers, they also lacked of confidence to apply SRI as it is the first time for them to experiment it. However, they expected that the result come out will be good to satisfy himself and other farmers in their villages.
At the first year of implementing the project, there won’t be many farmers applied SRI. Hopefully, the number of SRI farmers will be increased after the fruitful result of SRI experiment is shown in this season. I think that it is good if we organize the exposure visit for the other farmers who have not applied SRI, so they will be able to learn and to follow the practice after the visit. During the field visit in Bousra commune, Pichrda district, I also observed that the farmers have cultivated some kinds of vegetables in their homesteads. Most of the vegetables are only used for family consumption. It seems to be that the capacity of farmers in producing vegetables for selling is limited. Based on the observation, I would suggest that the preparation of integrated farming/multi-purpose farming is really good and fit to the geographic condition of the homestead of some farmers; they should conduct rice cultivation, vegetable growing, fish culture, fruit tree planting, etc. Their family’s incomes from on-farm activities will be increased if they can realize it.
At the afternoon, I myself, Kim Rady (the project’s accountant), and Mr. Charles (French student) visited a monthly meeting of a saving group in Klang Lei village, Sok San commune, Koah Nheaek district. The meeting was organized by the management committee members of that saving group under the technical support of the project’s staff Miss. Som Chariya. I could see almost all of the participants are men, only a few women presented in the meeting venue. Therefore, it seems to that the indigenous women are likely inactive in participating the social activities in their communities. We need to take more attention on this matter as the project is aiming to improve the women status in community development activities. Furthermore, I could see that the management committee members of the saving group have gained their knowledge, capacity and skills of managing their group effectively. However, further technical support is still needed to ensure that they are really qualified enough to fulfill their duties.
On July 21, 2010: I, other staff and the French student also visited some farmers in Sok San commune, Koah Nheaek district. Generally, we were visiting the SRI farmers before returned from Koah Nheaek district to Senmonorom. We went back to Senmonorom after lunch. During the visit, it was able to see that the farmers have applied GOOD SRI practices. Those farmers can be considered as the model farmers (in terms of SRI) in the village. The project staff should organize intra exchange visit in order to make sure the other farmers can learn from those model farmers. The visibility of EU should be displayed in the farm of those successful farmers. I meant that we should produce information label and put it in the rice field so that the other farmers could see and learn from it. Those farmers are not only cultivating SRI, but also growing vegetables and chicken raising. They have specific plan for development of their families through the practices of agricultural innovations introduced by the project. In this year, at least we should make sure that all key farmers selected by the project have applied agricultural innovations introduced by the project.