From 6-7 Nov 12, Yim Sok Sophors, Smallholder Agriculture Specialist, attended the 3rdNational Farmer Forum in Koh Pich Centre, in Phnom Penh. The forum was organized by the NGO Forum on Cambodia in cooperation with many other NGOs and Council for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD).
The objective of the forum were 1) to reflect on and share the impact, experiences, and lesson-learned regarding climate change and food security issues from farmers, government officials, NGO representatives, and private sector leaders; 2) to improve farmer and civil society’s understanding and to make recommendation to the government of how to improve climate change policies and the strategic framework of food security and nutrition SFFSN (2008-2012); and 3) to discuss ways forward with relevant stakeholders including provincial authorities, development partners, international organizations, NGOs, academic institutions, farmer representatives from 24 provinces and cities, and private sector leaders.
Approximately, 400 to 500 participants from different institutions participated in that event, including farmers, private sector representatives, government officials, NGO representatives etc.
Climate change adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) were raised for discussion in plenary session and also in the small group discussion meetings.
Some key questions were raised for the small group discussion meetings, including:
“What government does to attain food security and adapt to climate change”
“What NGOs do to attain food security and adapt to climate change?”
“What are recommendations / potential solutions to address those issues?”
In addition, CARITAS executive director also added that “what farmers do to attend food security and adapt to climate change?”
Some farmers raised about “the lack of adaptive capacity and they also have limited knowledge and understanding of the climate resilient farming systems / resilient agricultural practices”.
More importantly, some other farmers raised about the land grabbing and deforestation.
“Increase in agricultural production reduces profit from rice production”, a woman-farmer raised in the forum. Therefore, she requested the government policy decision makers to create a favorable market policy support to small farmers especially to provide good market prices for agricultural products that produced by small farmers.
The government officials, private sector representatives, NGO representatives and other relevant stakeholders will put all the important points raised by farmers into consideration and possibly integrate / mainstream into the updated document of national framework for food security and nutrition.
During the forum, Sophors also met different people whom he used to know before. Those people are working for different organizations but still working in similar fields.