The 8. General Assembly of Farmer and Nature Net (FNN)
FNN had its first GA in 2003, in Siem Reap province, attended by more than one hundred farmers’ leaders from different provinces. The initiative was raised by Dr. Yang Saing Koma, CEDAC President, with the financial support of FNF. Since then, FNN has been established from an informal network of leaders of farmers’ organizations, which are cooperating with CEDAC, to a formal networks organization registered at the Ministry of Interior, with more than one thousands farmers associations as being members. FNN is becoming an influential farmer organization representing the interests of farmers through capacity building activities for its members, rural development and advocacy works.
On March 15-17, 2011, FNN hold its 8th GA in Phnom Pros hotel, Kampong Cham province. It was presided over by H.E. Ith Nody, Under Secretary of State of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery (MAFF) and H.E. Srun Darith, Deputy Secretary General of Council for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD). More than 162 participants attended the assembly, of who about 50% were women, representing farmers associations from 51 districts in 13 provinces. Representatives of the four family rubbers planter associations and three representatives of farmer water user communities in Kampong Cham province joined this important event as well in order to observe and learn from each other. Representatives from the Rural Development Bank (RDB), the Provincial Department of Agriculture (PDA) and donors were also present. Last, but not least, Dr. Koma, Advisor to FNN, attended, represented CEDAC and gave guidance to the organizer and facilitator team.
This GA was financially supported by EED, FNF and contribution of CEDAC. Mr. Uon Sophal, FNN President and Mr. Pan Sopheap, FNN Executive Director; were main facilitator for the whole event.
- Report of activities and finance of FNN in 2010 and progress report by each province
- Elect new leaders at the provincial and the national level and new members of BoD and
- Approve the FNN strategy for 2011-2013
The General Assembly has elected 11 provincial leaders (five are women) as members of the board. At the national level, Mr. Uon Sophal, former FNN President, has been re-elected as the new President for 2011-2013. Ms. Khuon Sey, former FNN treasurer, has been elected as Vice-President. Ms. Sam Kanha, former FNN women national network leader, has been elected as Treasurer. In this case the women are very well represented in FNN at the national level.
Beside, FNN representatives had a chance to ask several questions to relevant ministry and stakeholders to clarify some issues, procedures, processes and cooperation such as what and how the MAFF and RDB could help and cooperate with the FNN in order to assist and succeed the government’s policy, which aims to export one million tons rice by 2015. Some questions referred to CEDAC and FNN were also raised. Answers, clarification and recommendations were raised and discussed.
What I like the most from the GA:
- It was presided over by high-ranking official from the MAFF, CARD, RDB, provincial departments and other donors
- Active participation from all participants and other stakeholders in the discussion, presentation, election of its leaders etc
- Progress reports of FNN at the provincial and national level were shared
- Lively interaction between farmers and cooperating partners
- Democratic elections were held and the competition between candidates were tough
- 10 points strategy for FNN in the next mandate 2011-2011 was approved
- Strong women leaders identified and take part in leadership role at the national level
- Very good and real committed leaders elected for the next mandate
It is important to note that CEDAC, to some extent with the financial support of FNF, has been initiating and cooperating with numerous of member organizations networks such as:
- Farmer and Nature Net
- Teacher Saving Association Nets
- Press Saving Association of Cambodia
- Youth Saving Associations Net
- Family Rubber Planters Associations and last but not least
- Farmer and Water Net