Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Forum tackles farmers’ woes

Forum tackles farmers’ woes

Forum tackles farmers’ woes

Discussions intended to focus on food security in the face of climate change unearthed underlying concerns about the allocation of land in the first day of a farmers’ workshop yesterday.

At the Third National Farmers’ Forum, attended by nearly 500 farmers from all 24 provinces as well as government and NGO representatives, the wide range of approaches advocated by the participants suggested no single clear path forward for farmers with little land to their names who live with the constant threat of droughts and floods caused by climate change.   

Various presenters recommended that participants turn their attention to finding markets for Cambodian produce, spreading more sustainable technology and improving infrastructure, but all, like Chhith Sam Ath, head of the NGO Forum on Cambodia, stressed that “food security is especially difficult for the small farmer, who has few resources.”

When one such farmer from Stung Treng asked presenters why small farmers saw so little support, Dr Mak Seoun, a director at the Ministry of Agriculture, jumped in to defend the government’s land policies.

“The government recognises the complex problem of land,” Seoun said, echoing Deputy Prime Minister Yim Chai Ly’s statement earlier in the morning that the government is working to implement Hun Sen’s new land-titling program.

“We are now implementing this policy, so please don’t worry,” Seoun said. “The problem is NGOs that don’t cooperate with the government.”

NGOs and government ministries alike seek sustainable agricultural development but often have conflicting ways of reaching that goal, he added.

Other organisations were more diplomatic, with UNDP representative Iding Phearonic stating, “I think we need to work together more.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Justine Drennan at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Ethnic group ‘disappointed’ to be denied French visas to attend court

    Eleven people at the centre of a case involving seven indigenous Bunong villages in Mondulkiri province pursuing legal action in France have expressed disappointment after the French embassy in Phnom Penh denied their visa applications to attend court. A press release said the 11 included a

  • EBA withdrawal provides ‘opportunity for growth’

    Economic analyst Khoun Bunny said on Tuesday that the loss of the EU’s preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement could be a golden opportunity for Cambodia to show it deserved to be ranked sixth on the list of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Government

  • Malaysia MP accused of ‘influencing law’

    Malaysian Member of Parliament (MP) Larry Sng arrived in Siem Reap early on Wednesday, in what was slammed by one NGO as efforts by Kuala Lumpur to “influence Cambodian law”. The Malaysian Embassy in Phnom Penh requested on January 30 “cooperation from the Ministry of Foreign

  • Ministries begin measures to offset EU’s EBA decision

    In the wake of the EU’s controversial announcement this week that it has begun the withdrawal process for Cambodia’s Everything But Arms (EBA) preferential agreement, government ministries and political analysts continued to share their reactions and economic mitigation plans in preparation for the