Capacity Building for Rice Bank Management Committee in Mondulkiri
During the last three days; I, Mr. Uon Sophal and the food security project staff, have conducted trainings on RB in Koh Nhek and Pechreada district, Modulkiri province.
In Sok San commune (10 May 2011)
The first training was conducted in Sok San commune hall, started at 8:00 am. Mr. Khoeun Boreth, Community Facilitator Assistant (CFA), helped us concerning organization and logistic issues. The main agenda of the all training was:
– Introduction of facilitator and participants
– Review the results of the last meetings on RB
– Review organization and management structure of RB
– Case study: RB in Dorn Tung district
– Action plan, sum up and closing
There were 15 participants (3 women) joining the training. They came from Antres (2p/1F), Tuol (3p), Klong Lei (3/1F), Sre Thom (3p/1F), Or Buon (2p) and Anhchor (2p) villages. The participants were: 1 vice-chief of the commune, 5 chairmen of the saving associations, 2 vice-chairmen, 2 treasurers, 1 secretary and four members of the saving groups. Participants came from Sok San and Or Buon commune. The project has invited committee members from seven villages, three persons/each village. Representative from Chi Klob village was absent.
Training in Sre Sangkum commune (11 May 2011)
The second one was conducted in the Ratanak Mondul Rainsey pagoda, Sre Sangkum commune. The meeting started at 7:45 am. Logistic support was provided by Mr. Thol Chanthea, CFA. The main agenda is the same as in Sok San commune.
21 participants (4 women) joined the training. They came from Meanchey (2F), Ro Yor (1p), Kbal Chroy (1p), Me Mom (3p), Serei Rath (3p), Oh Yeh (1p), Sre Chrey (4p/2F), Chhoul (3p) and Serei Mongkol (3p) villages. There were no representatives from Serei Meanrith, Chamroeun, Kbal Koh and Sre Huy village. Among participants we have 5 village chiefs, 5 Chairmen of the saving groups, 4 secretaries of the saving group, 1 treasurer, 1 key holder, 3 farmers and 2 members of the saving group.
In Sre Ampum commune (12 May 2011)
The third training was conducted in Oh Play Junior high school, in Sre Ampum commune, started at 8:30 am. Mr. Pol Samath, Project Officer, helped us concerning organization and logistic issues.
10 participants, 3 women, joined the half-day training. They came from Pu Kroch (2F), Pu Radeth (4p), Pu Raing (2/1F) and Krang Tes village (2p). The participants were: 2 chief of the village, 2 vice-chiefs of village, 1 secretary, 1 teacher and four farmers. Participants came from Krang Tes, Bousra and Sre Ampum commune. The project has invited participants from eleven villages, three persons/each village. There were no representatives from other seven villages (Pu Kreng, Tram Kach, Pu Tel, Pu Char, Pul, Pu Tan and Pu Rapet).
Results and Suggestions
After spending time to review the last training sessions following observation could be made:
– All participants have fair knowledge on the importance and the objectives of creating RB.
– All (or most of the) participants are involved in saving associations collaborated with the project. For them, they could understand the main principles of RB easily since it is similar to what they are currently doing.
– The have already (to some degree) organized RB in Chi Klob, Sre Thom, Serei Rath, Sre Chrey, Oh Yes and Krang Tes village. Though, it is still lacking some documents or written regulation, it is a very good start for the project to continue this momentum.
Mr. Uon Sophal, Farmer and Nature Net (FNN) Chairman, was invited to share his practical experience in creating and managing RB in his own village, in Dorn Tung district, Kampot province. His RB was established in 1999, with the technical and material support of GTZ Food Security Project. GTZ provided first milled rice (16kg/each person) for farmers and they need to return paddy rice (24kg) to the RB. At the beginning his RB has 62 families as members (individual 373 members). Currently, it increased to 101 families with 544 individual members.
Key points addressed are as follows:
- Importance of having a RB, background and objectives.
- Achievements of his RB to support its members and to help various development works of the communities.
- Practical steps to create RB: identifying key persons, create the guarantee group (3-6 families), asking interested villagers to fill in the registration form, drafting the statutes and internal regulation, discussing on storage facility construction, contribution of RB members, meeting to formalize drafted statutes and regulations, election of committee members, construction of storage facility, asking elderly villagers and pagodas committee to join RB on honorary basis, fund-raising activities and technical follow-up support by project staff etc.
- Members were joining RB voluntarily.
- Start with interested people and start small. No need to ask all villagers to join if they are not interested in RB.
- Interest rate was at the beginning 25%, currently only 16%. It was decided collectively.
- Each member within a family could borrow up to two Tao (24 kg) of paddy rice. The internal regulation of his RB decided that maximum 6 members of one family could borrow paddy rice.
- Contribution from project to construct the storage was 70%; from villagers were 20% in cash and in kind.
- Currently his RB has 23,400 kg paddy rice as capital.
- Storage facility should be placed where it is easy to access and on the safe ground.
- Storage facility should be locked by three different keys and the keys were kept by three different committee members. The door could be opened only if the three people come to open at the same time.
- One day is set for borrowing (between 6-10 August) and one day for member to repay the debts (2-6 January).
- Committee members received bonus for their work between 5-7% of the total amount of borrowed paddy rice, minus the amount of damaged or lost rice (weight) while keeping in warehouse.
- His RB has very good documentation system: he recommended that following documents are vital for successful management of RB: 1) Statutes and internal regulation, 2) Borrowing contracts, 3) Paddy rice accounts book, 4) Money accounts book, 5) Action plan and 6) Summary table of transactions and reporting.
In addition to the recommendations/lessons learned of Mr. Uon Sophal, key suggestions made by Mr. Khim Sophanna are as follows:
- All potential or targeted members should understand the rational and objective of creating RB.
- Start small, especially with people who understand the concept of RB and would like to joint voluntarily. No need to ask too many people to join if they have not well understood the objectives to create RB.
- Start with villages where the committee members understand the importance and the concept of RB very clearly. Use it as role model for other farmers to visit and learn.
- Women should be encouraged to join the RB committee since they are soft in communication and hard in calculation and bookkeeping.