Mekong Institute (MI) organized a three-day Structured Learning Visit (SLV) for sixteen Cambodian participants of Apsara National Authority from July 26-28, 2016.
The program, supported by New Zealand Aid Programme(NZAP) through the Angkor Community Heritage and Economic Advancement Project (ACHA), aimed to share experiences and lessons learned in agricultural cooperatives in North-eastern part of Thailand.
Agricultural cooperatives have a major role in supporting small agricultural producers, particularly creating sustainable rural employment through business models that are resilient to economic and environmental challenges, said by Ms. Song Jianping, Director of Communication and Knowledge Management Department. Cooperative not only helps farmers access to the resources and services they need for production, but also improved access to markets with greater negotiation powers, she added. She hoped that participants will be able to reflect on the lessons learned from the successful cooperatives in Thailand and provide recommendations to improve the current practices of Cambodia.
Over the course of three days, the participants visited a number of agricultural cooperatives included Sum Sung Non-Toxic Vegetable Cooperative, Mai Na Phiang Community Rice Seed Production Center and Roi-Et Agricultural Cooperatives.
During the SLV, participants had opportunities to interact with field speakers which help deepen their understanding on the organization and management of each agricultural cooperative with its opportunities and challenges. Moreover, the participants were able to identify the successful and failure factors in managing cooperatives and come up with recommendations to improve agricultural cooperative management system in their community.