Exchange Visit of Mongolians in Cambodia
This morning, we have had a wrap up meeting of a ten day exchange visit from Mongolia. Eleven guests, including four women, spent almost ten days in Cambodia to learn and share about irrigation development and management, Water User Associations, linking farmers to market program, social enterprises etc. The exchange visit was organized by CEDAC and the Irrigation Service Center (ISC).
The official program started with the welcome remark of the ISC Chairman and CEDAC Senior Program Adviser, Mr. Khim Sophanna, the introduction of the program, brief background of irrigation management in Cambodia, CEDAC experiences in irrigation sector and the works of the ISC, on 29 March, 2012, in Phnom Penh. It was followed by field trips to visit:
- Tuek Chha irrigation scheme, more than 1,000 ha in Kampong Cham province,
- Stung Chinit irrigation scheme, ~2,400 ha in Kampong Thom province,
- 5 February irrigation scheme, ~500 ha in Kampong Cham,
- Prey Nup Polders and its users community, ~10, 000 ha in Preah Sihanouk province,
- Farmer and Nature Net (a Federation of 12 FWUCs in Cambodia, with 23,000 ha and 15,000 members) and
- CEDAC Social enterprise and CEDAC Shop.
The study tour team was accompanied by Mr. Seng Sophak, ISC Director and Ms. Kan Sok Kanhnha, ISC Finance Service Manager. Mr. Taing Sophat, ISC Vice-Chairman and Mr.Lim Sokundaraun, CEDAC Program Officer, provided also their technical inputs to the study tour team.
Some impression from the team members at the evaluation session in summary:
- Cambodia and Mongolia have different context and agro-ecological zones, but when it comes to irrigation development and management, we faced some similarity in challenges and collective action constraints;
- We have seen different sizes of different irrigation schemes, but Prey Nup Polder was the “most impressive scheme” in term of size, institutional set-up, management, farmer’s participation, transparent financial management, farmers’ benefits etc ;
- It is amazing to learn that how principles, rules and regulations were enforced to different degree of all these visited schemes;
- Institutional set up of the FWUCs and the assigned tasks were interesting, which stated clearly who does what;
- Land re-allocation program in Stung Chinit is practical and do-able in the Mongolian context;
- A mixed program, with short introduction and more field visits and meeting directly with farmers and practitioners;
- “Linking farmers to market program” was very interesting, since it could provide good income to farmers, provide safe food to customers, ensure food security etc;
- Happy to get the opportunity to visit “Angkor Wat”, a historical and world heritage site; some time to visit the town, Phnom Penh during our spare time.
The team leader requested that such an exchange should be continued in the future, so that Cambodians could come to visit Mongolia and vice-versa and share technical expertise with each other. They flight back home tonight, 06. April, 2012. We wish them “bon voyage”.
Last, but not least, the exchange visit was financially supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.