The recent collaborative seminar organized by DGRV and the Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, AERD/RUA, marked a crucial step towards advancing Cambodia’s agricultural cooperative business sector. On August 16th, 2023, the seminar brought together cooperative representatives from various provinces and members of the Cambodian Agricultural Cooperative Alliance (CACA), fostering insightful discussions and first-hand experience sharing among 170 faculty members, officers, and students.
Cambodia’s burgeoning agricultural cooperative movement faces challenges despite the rise in cooperative interest since the enactment of the Law on Agricultural Cooperatives in 2013. While 1251 agricultural cooperatives are registered nationwide, many lack robust management, curbing the range of services offered to members. Strengthening cooperative performance hinges on proficient management and leadership.
In collaboration with partners like Buddhism for Development (BFD) and Cooperative Association of Cambodia (CAC), DGRV conducts regular training for board members and representatives of supervisor committees, equipping them with business management knowledge, bookkeeping skills, and a good understanding of cooperative regulations and legislation.
Agricultural cooperatives in Cambodia rarely appoint executive managers. However, DGRV’s pilot cooperatives, engaged in contract farming and export-related ventures, are encouraged to appoint managers for effective contractual fulfillment. These pilot models also serve as reference models for sharing experiences and insights.
Rising to the cooperative sector’s needs, the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) has suggested a closer partnership with the DGRV project. The university proposes integrating cooperative business education into the national curriculum, fostering skilled human resources vital for modernizing and invigorating agricultural cooperatives.
By facilitating such collaborative efforts, DGRV and its partners are steering Cambodia’s agricultural cooperatives towards prosperity. Robust leadership, professional management, and educational synergy are setting the stage for a thriving cooperative landscape that significantly contributes to Cambodia’s sustainable development.
A Project Story of the Month by Hardy Schneider, Project Director Cambodia
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