From 18 to 29 April 2016, two field missions were conducted. The first mission was conducted to Siem Reap and Kampong Thom provinces, then the second mission to Preah Vihear and Ratanakiri provinces. The objectives of the mission were:
- To provide technical assistance to the project extension officer to establish women producer group and to discuss LOA with Provincial Department of Women’s Affairs.
- To discuss with provincial line department of PDoE, PDoA and PDoWR about watershed management committee establishment and to discuss their roles to support the processes of WSMC establishment in Taveng Lue Micro-Watershed.
- To finalise and facilitate signing of the LOA by PDA
- To conduct field monitoring / provide individual follow-up visit for pilot FFS members
The mission team members had carried out meetings with directors of the relevant provincial department to discuss cooperation, a group meeting with FFS members and interested farmers who are interested in women producer group, and conducted individual interview with FFS members about what they have learned from the pilot FFS and challenges in applying new ideas. In Lvea Krang commune, a meeting with commune extension officer (CEW) of the ADB project was organised to get the detail of revolving fund group management as well as another meeting with deputy chief to report the project progress and action plans for coming months. In Popok commune, the mission team members also participated in the tenth FFS session facilitated by PDA-Kampong Thom and the project extension officer.
The formation of women producer group has been progressive in four target communes. In Popok and Kulen Chheung, the discussion on group structure as well as roles and responsibilities of executive committee is going on. In Popok, the potential group leaders already identified with the participation of group members. The next meeting will focus on the selection of executive committee through voting and democratic process. In Kulen Cheung, members of executive committee already selected. The following meeting will concentrate on tasks and responsibilities of executive members and members. The initial step of producer group formation has been begun in Lvea Krang and Taveng Leu. With the technical assistance of Gender and Livelihood Specialist, the mobilisation meetings were conducted. In Lvea Krang, Siem Reap, meeting with three existing groups (revolving fund for small-scale livelihoods) supported by ADB Tonle Sap project and interesting members of farmer field school.
In all 4 provinces, the meeting with the director and technical officials of the provincial department of women’s affairs conducted to discuss LOA technical contents and budget. The director of each department was welcoming our team and looking forward to more collaboration. The discussion enabled the partner to get more understanding of Letter of Agreement (LOA), especially their roles and duties, and how they work together as partners with the project team and other relevant departments to implement the project successfully. Building up human resource is a mandate of the department, however, the resource to do so is very limited. Thus, it was suggested to the project to consider allowing technical officials who may not work directly with the project to attend any capacity building training organised and supported by the project.
Through the individual interview, the majority of the FFS members understand well lessons that they have learned from the pilot FFS, but a shortage of water was the big challenge for them to grow vegetables in this season. Therefore, they delayed the vegetable growing until the beginning of the rainy season. Through the meeting with the provincial department directors, they are happy to cooperate with the project. It was requested to get LOA contents translated into Khmer. This would help technical officials as well as director of the department who are the main implementer to get familiar with deliverable outputs, key activities, timeframe, work plan and budget. WSMC’s establishment will be very important for commune watershed management to coordinate and facilitate the implementation process. The WSMC will play also very important roles too to integrate watershed issues into commune investment and commune development plan.