In August, 12 women and 7 men who are community leaders and Commune Council members in provinces where CWS works with agriculture Producer Groups in Cambodia joined a three-part training course about Group Business Management and Market Development. The course was organized by CWS and facilitated by the ACT Cambodia Forum Agricultural Markets Coordinator for community leaders and Commune Council members to learned how to better support families to start, strengthen and/or expand home-based agriculture livelihoods. Topics touched on were these: business ethics, understanding the basic market situation, how to do a product demand analysis and how to create an enabling environment for business. Two key points were made for farmers to understand the demand calendar and identify potential buyers in advance.
Giving testimony about the value of the course, a Commune Chief said this: “I listened to the facilitator share experiences about successes in group business management, and I joined the discussion of pros and cons of individual vs. group business, and I was inspired to use them when I work with producer groups in my community. I like the fact that group members make their own decisions about what produce they want to sell through the collective. For instance, deciding who will grow which vegetables and how much of each vegetable based on researched market demands”. After the course, this participant also told us that he talked further with group members and leaders to strongly reinforce the value of working collectively. Later, he told us how happy he was to see group commitments to focus more on truly shared efforts.
For example, one chicken producer group member, Thok Sokhen, expressed her commitment to use the ideas she got from the training in her own backyard chicken farm. Thok Sokhen said she now sees better how combining efforts can help facilitate market access. So, she also committed to encourage her group to have a smart business plan and to grow their production, cooperation and incomes.
(For more information please contact MSophalcws@cwsglobal.org )