With its country-wide programme in Cambodia, DRGV aims at promoting a functioning, multi-level cooperative system that enables cooperatives, and very specifically their farmer members to improve their individual economic situation. By promoting cooperative self-help, the project contributes to improving economic and social structures, strengthening civil society and reducing poverty.
In Cambodia, DGRV is following a multi-level approach. At the national level, main implementation partners of DGRV are the government agencies relevant for cooperative promotion. Main partners of DGRV are the Department of Agricultural Cooperative Promotion (DACP) within the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), which is supported with the implementation of the Cooperatives Act, and the recently established National Cooperative Alliance (CACA). DGRV aims at the establishment of a modern, market-oriented cooperative system, supported by sufficient legal and regulatory framework conditions. Employees of the relevant national institutions are trained to promote the development of the cooperative sector based on self-help and self-responsibility.
At the regional level, the creation of cooperative networks and the establishment of central cooperatives are promoted, which offer demand-oriented services to primary cooperatives and their members. At the primary level, individual cooperatives are supported to overcome (internal) organizational barriers, which limit their ability to develop as an economically sustainable enterprise. In general, the project supports cooperatives to strengthen their entrepreneurial orientation, expand their businesses and access new sales markets, by amongst others introducing necessary quality standards. For the work at regional and primary level DGRV is closely cooperating with two local NGOs, BFD and CAC.
To implement its activities, DGRV is working with representatives and staff of state institutions, relevant for the development of the cooperative sector at national, provincial and local level (MAFF/DACP, PDAFF/OACP). Besides that, the project targets managers, employees and bodies of entrepreneurial cooperatives and their associations (networks, central cooperatives), as well as their individual members in the agricultural sector. Furthermore, DGRV focuses on working with cooperative promoters of (I)NGOs that can engage in the development of cooperative initiatives and/or play a multiplier role.
The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and is currently running until end of 2023.
Some activity highlights in 2022 include:
San Hour Veng
The General Directorate of Agriculture (GDA) within the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery (MAFF) and as part of it the Department for Agricultural Cooperative Promotion (DACP) is DGRVs most important government counterpart and directly responsible for the development of the sector in Cambodia. The cooperation between DGRV and MAFF does exist since 2009 and is based on a MoU.
The Cambodian Agricultural Cooperative Alliance (CACA) is the apex body of agricultural cooperatives in Cambodia and was as such officially registered in January 2020. CACA will play an im-portant role in representing and protecting the interest of agricultural cooperatives in Cambodia. DGRV and CACA have started their cooperation in the development of sustainable cooperative systems in Cambodia in 2020. Main areas of cooperation shall be the institutional set up of CACA in order to enable the Alliance to provide high quality services for its members.
Buddhism for Development is a local NGO with which the DGRV has been working since 2004. Through the cooperation with BFD, partner cooperatives and cooperative networks in 7 provinces (Battambang, Pailin, Banteay Meanchey, Oddar Meanchey, Phrea Vihear, Siem Reap, Kampong Thom) are supported.
The Cooperative Association of Cambodia is a supraregional association of 40 credit unions and agricultural cooperatives. CAC and DGRV have been cooperating since 2009. The cooperation with CAC reaches and promotes partner cooperatives in eight provinces (Svay Rieng, Prey Veng, Takeo, Kampong Thom, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Cham, Kratie, Kampong Speu).
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