Start with Women to End Hunger - First National Women Farmer Champions in Cambodia

Monday, March 7, 2016

Oxfam in collaboration with Gender and Children Working Group of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and 18 local and international organizations organizes the first “National Women Farmer Champions in Agriculture” to empower small land holder farmers in particularly women to discuss and develop common interests and plans, and to bring their voices to the national government, policy makers and development partners. The event will be held on 8 March 2016 at Imperial Garden Villa & Hotel from 8am to 5pm.

The participants include 100 women farmers, government stakeholders and private sectors. The farmers are from 24 provinces and they are selected out of 500 farmers during the sub-national woman farmer champions selection process in five regions (Mekong, Lowland, Coastal, Southern Tonlesap and Northern Tonle).

While women farmers largely contribute to agricultural economic growth, their representation in decision making and development is low. A small proportion of women farmers have the opportunity to attend public events and those that do rarely have the opportunity to speak. In 2015, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Oxfam and other partners decided to try a new approach to encourage women’s participation. In the agriculture landscape (the five regions) 200 women farmers assembled to discuss the challenges and opportunities that they see as priority and raise their questions and recommendations to the stakeholders. 

The forum is also an opportunity for significant stakeholders to discuss on policy issues to support smallholder farmers’ priority concerns on how they could get access to water, capital and reliable markets for agricultural products.

“While this is the inaugural attempt, it is envisaged that this could become a crucial vehicle for women farmers living in the challenging environment of labor shortages and migration; new markets and technology innovation, climate change adaptation and resource scarcity,” said Kaneka Keo, Regional Policy Advisor, Oxfam.

After the forum, those national women farmer champions will work together to form a network to work toward their common vision and goals. A one-day planning workshop will be facilitated for those champions farmers to design their own plans and mapping out their resources to ensure the functionality of this network. Resources mobilization action plans will also modified.

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Contact for further inquiries:
Naratevy Kek, Communications Coordinator, Oxfam
(+855) 16 482 657