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Building Self-reliant Farming Communities 2022”



Awarded the rice mill cooperative investment fund to the farmers from 3 districts are Kamchaymear, Sithor Kandal and Tramkok district, Photo by CEDAC

Standing in the front of the stage and in the middle of row of the seats of 200 farmer representatives and with the microphone on his hand, said that “I plan to develop Cambodia to be the world leader in producing and supplying high quality organic rice, especially organic fragrant rice, by 2022”, Mr Yang Saing Koma said in the Conference at Cambodian-Japanese Cooperation Center (CJCC).

“As I have become interesting in agriculture since I was born in the remote area and somehow I have gotten some influence from my father. However, he is a teacher; he also adored farming. Moreover, I have experienced and seen that agriculture is able to help many people”, Koma explains. Living in a family which father worked as a teacher, my family somehow had lived happily with normal living standard. The approaching of brutal regime, called generally Pol Pot regime, made my family lost the pillar of the family as my father was killed in that regime, said in the sad face.

In 1970, my family moved from my native village, Takeo province to live in Phnom Penh city.  In 1975, my life is not different from other people in Cambodia; at the age of 9 year old, I was forced to live far away from my mother separately and done farming from the early morning to the late evening, Koma recalled sadly.

Mr Yang Saing Koma, at the age of 47 continued that after the death of his father, all the burden and responsibility were felled to his mother to be the bread-winner to support six children in the family.

Living in a family without the support of father, Yang Saing Koma tried to earn money while he was studying by helping mother to sell cake, ice, and vegetable.

In spite of facing such the financial problem in the family, he had never given up his studying until graduating grade 10, called High School Diploma nowadays, from high school in Phnom Penh. After graduating from high school in 1984, he had gotten the scholarship to continue his Bachelor Degree in Leninism at Germany under the support of Cambodian government.

“Studying at Germany originally, I chose to specialize in Communism”, Koma added. However, after one year later of studying Leninism, I changed to study Agriculture instead because I thought that this major can help many poor people. Thus, ‘I specialized in agriculture and earned his Ph. D from the University of Leipzig, Germany, in 1995’”, Saing Koma recalls.

“After finishing my Master Degree and PhD in 1995, I returned to Cambodia immediately to get involved in agriculture”, Saing Koma said. He has spent his life over 15 year in agriculture and rural development, especially in the field of action research, training, educations, publication as well as organization development and management, he added.

On 26 August 2012, Yang Saing Koma went to Philippine to get 2012 Roman Magsaysay Award. The Ramon Magsaysay Award is given to persons regardless of race, nationality, creed or gender who address issues of human development in Asia with courage and creativity, and in doing so have made contributions which have transformed their societies for the better. Dr. Koma, who is only the fifth person from Cambodia to receive the award, is being recognized for his creative fusion of practical science and collective will that has inspired and enabled vast numbers of farmers in Cambodia to become more empowered and productive contributors to their country’s economic growth, according to the Roman Magsaysay Award website.

Mr Yang Saing Koma—a former teacher of Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) from October 1995 to 2003– worked with Japanese NGO Japan International Volunteer Center (JVC) from 1995 to 1997. “I decided to stop my teaching at RUA because I have been extremely hectic with business at CEDAC, and I want to help directly to the farmers and to conduct more research and experiment regarding agriculture” Koma explained.

Then, I set up a NGO known as Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture (CEDAC) in August 1997, called “Putting Science at The Service of The Farmers”, with 7 members of his colleagues under the support of French to a leading Cambodian NGO in the field of agriculture and rural development.

“Physically, and mainly, I have created CEDAC because I want to create the Farming Community in order to empower the living’s standard of the Cambodian farmers and Cambodian agriculture to be more developed and be the world’s best exported country in agriculture.”

Mr Yang Saing Koma is the president of CEDAC and also the chairman of CEDAC enterprise, a social enterprise set up by CEDAC in August 2009.

So far, he has also helped to set up the National Farmer Association, which is known as Farmer and Nature Net (FNN) in 2003; and currently he is serving as the advisor of the FNN. Besides working with CEDAC, he also served as chairman and member of Board of Directors of 6 local NGOs, said Saing Koma.

The health of our government and our nation depends on the health of rice farmers. Paddy prices are going down everywhere this year. If it continues like this, the situation can be serious, especially after the harvest of dry season rice in February and March. We are doing our best to support some of the cooperating farmers to receive fair prices for their products. However, we need national policies, strategies and concrete actions to deal with this issue, especially to ensure fairer prices for our hard working rice farmer and for the sake of national food security, said in his Facebook.

“I have created a project called, “Building Self-reliant Farming Communities 2022”, Koma said. I will focus on promoting three main ideas which will make rice farmers to be rich such as growing fragrant rice to sell by using organic methods, selling milled rice instead of paddy, and allocating parts of the income from selling milled rice to invest in rice mill cooperatives, Koma explain in his Facebook.

“I am eager to empower the natural agriculture in Cambodia by creating the Self-reliant Farming Community, and to encourage the 100 thousand farmers to increase their product by creating rice mill community and to make them understand how to use the waste from their product to serve more for their agriculture by using waste to feed chickens or ducks and somehow to use it as the fertilizer for vegetable or other plant. Moreover, we have encouraged them create “Loaning Community”—saving money step by step and providing the loan to the needed farmer, Koma said hopefully. Right now we are planning to create these projects with 13 provinces by selecting the talent, willing and potential farmers who want to be the real farmer and to be the rich farmer; moreover, in the future, we will spread the project national wide.” Koma said in the low pace.

To reach this goal, I need to get more than 400 qualified and committed farmer community assistants to work with more than 100,000 good small-scale organic rice producers. The first group of trainees will be recruited in February 2013. CEDAC needs to find around 2000 USD to support each trainees for one year to develop their professional capacity to work for the farmers, said Saing Koma.

Mr Bao Vuthy, Program Coordinator of CEDAC said that so far we have helped many Cambodian farmers to improve their skills and to create farming family or farming community. Recently, conduct field visits to Kampong Chhnang province under the framework of the project “Improving the Livelihoods of Rice Farmers in Kampong Tralach and Samaky Meanchey district, Kampong Chnang Province”, accompanied Ms Noriko Tsujimoto, Asian Community Trust representative, according to CEDAC’s information.

“We right now have offered the rice mill cooperative investment fund to the farmers from 3 districts are Kamchaymear, Sithor Kandal and Tramkok district, and each districts will receive 1000 million riel to develop their rice mill cooperatives during 2013,” said Saing koma in the conference at CJCC.

As what our prime mister, Hun Sen announced that it had set 2015 to show this nation’s competence in becoming one of the major rice exporters to world’s markets, and to have 500 Cambodian millionaires to develop Cambodia. I plan to have 100,000 rice farmer millionaires to develop rural Cambodia to be better place to live for everyone. This project is officially launched from 03 to 04 of January 2013, Koma said.

In 10 year ahead from 2012 to 2022, CEDAC has empowered 100 thousand Cambodian national-wide farmers to be the ownership of organic rice mill in order to produce organic rice with the high quality to sell to both local and international markets, Mr. Yang Saing Koma said proud fully.

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An Enhancement Workshop has been held by Fulbright & Undergraduate State Alumni Association of Cambodia (FUSAAC) on August 26th, 2012 at Salalakpram Village, Orrusey Commune, Kampong Tralach District, Kompong Chhnang Province, Cambodia. The Workshop is conducted at Australian Center for Development (ACD) under the support of Embassy of the United States of America on the purpose of teaching minority students about basic debate, English, and team spirit. Workshop was organized by FUSAAC Members, FUSAAC Volunteers, and U.S Embassy representative.

A 17 year-old girl with big smile on her face, Miss Sos Mariyom, a scholarship student among fifteen students who get the scholarship from the support of Embassy of the United States of America to study English at ACD; said that today she is over the moon to learn many ground-breaking things from the workshop. She added that last time she didn’t know what debate is, but today she can debate with her class-mates. “Debate helps me think about everything deeply and tries to consider what I heard”, Mariyom said. Furthermore, she also learn, what team work is, through the game in the workshop. “The game helps me to be united while working in the group unless everything will fail”, Mariyom said.

Mr. Tum Yousos, 30 year-old, Project Coordinator of Islamic Community, said that he is very happy that FUSAAC holds the workshop at ACD in order to provide knowledge to minority students. He added that Embassy of United States of America continuously offers fifteen scholarships for poor students or parentless students to study English at ACD and helps many annual projects at Islamic Community since 2005.

The Enhancement workshop was ended with the smile of students after having some snack and taking photos with FUSAAC Members, FUSAAC Volunteers, and U.S Embassy representative as the memory of the workshop.

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This event is created to seek any sponsors and donors for fundraising and support all activities of Khmer Film Fund and Kerdomnel Khmer Foundation for the missions of preserve and conserve Cambodian Culture and Heritage.

This is the true story of Amara – the story her life during the genocide of Pol Pot’s regime. Now 68 years old, and Madam Amara does not enjoy the health as one world expect of her age, a legacy from the hardships she faced from 1975 – 1979. This film documented the sadness of her life, especially the loss of her family in the genocide.

Fifteen days after evacuating from Phnom Penh, her father, General Prang, a former high-ranking cadre who was well-respected in the Lon Nol regime, was executed. The Khmer Rouge cadres hung a big rock on his neck and shot him till he fell from the bridge at Kampong Speu province. Her husband, Chak, an officer at a fortress near Kampong Chhnang province, disappeared ever since. Madam Amara was told that a villager in Kampong Chhnang province had seen her husband and 30 other Lon Nol loyalists were escorted away by Khmer Rouge cadres on 20 April 1975, for execution it was the very day at Khmer Rouge took control of Phnom Penh.
Venue: CHAKTOMUK Conference Hall Date: 17th August 2012 Time (3 sessions)

For ticket, please contact:

1-Mr. SUM Sithen (Kon Khmer Koun Khmer), Tel: 097 295 8878

2-Ms. ROEUNG Kannytha (Kerdomnel Khmer), Tel: 069 59 34 91

3-Mr. HENG Vichit (Khmer Face), Tel: 098 83 30 21
4-Tour Asia, Office: #24, St. 130, PhsarKandal I, Daun Penh, Phnom Penh. Tel: 023 22 06 69 / 023 21 39 27

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Arriving in a province which is the heart and soul of the country with an elephant fighting with two tigers, one is being on the back and the other is being

The Symbol of Kompong Thom province, two tigers one is being on the back and another is being under the foot of the elephant.

under the legs of elephant as the symbol of the province. At 10:30 am, we all have prepared for community service at one poor primary school with only one building and containing only ten classes by training to sing four song and preparing the educational activities to the students during this first of June.

Walking under cloudy sky and slightly bright of sunshine, and looking at the crowd of children standing under the trees with green leaves, around 250 students at the age between seven to ten year-old with smile on their faces looking excitedly at a group of students who came from Department of Media and Communication (DMC) which is under the control of Royal University of Phnom Penh.

They have taken around four months to prepare and wait for a community service on the first of June, 2012 to one of the poor primary school, named Prey Sro Gei primary school standing alone with the poor building and empty large campus with a few tree in it, but with a large green grass. At that time around 27 university students from DMC with Khmer alphabet T-shirt standing as five lines face-to-face with the twelve lines of the local students with school uniform standing under the shadow of the tree and cloudy sky with bight shine of the sun through the green leaves.

We all have done many activities by guarding by a professor, who is wearing black trouser with a pair of white boot and short-sleeves color shirt and wearing pink and white Khmer kroma on his neck, walking in a quick step with white big microphone on his right hand raising up as if he is walking and talking with black glasses on his left hand, walking into the queue of ten students who is standing on the ground with half of the grass and half of red rock. Professor Sombo Manara had

All the students had to stand still round three minute until DMC students leaded each of the lines as one of them standing in the from of the line and another standing at the back of the lines with hand firmly as a huge circle to show their unity and their closeness being in the shape of circle, each of them have shouted “DMC” and “Prey Sro Gei” by raising the right hand up and shouting it out spontaneously to make all of them stay in touch with each other in their sense. All of the students had sited as a circle in a group which contains around ten or fifteen students and two of DMC students sited in the central of the circle in back to back to take turn in educating them regarding health care, preventing danger, setting goal of life, and sharing educational experience, and how to protect themselves from danger such as thunder, dengue fever. Moreover, to give children’s to them on their day, on the first of June.

After the whole process of the community service with all the children successfully, we prepare everything to get on the 30 seat bus which is landing in front of the school to have leisure at one big lake, called Steng Chey Neath, which took only around fifteen minute. Walking on the wooden, large bridge and one red land to the lake, the sound of flowing water from the nearby bankment, many local people are swimming, and walking in the walk with the big smile on their faces.

The next day on July 02nd, 2012, getting on the bus around 8 am to get field trip at Sombo Prey Kork Temples, unfortunately because of the heavy rain last night, the road from the national road to the temple was damaged so seriously that it causes the route become slide like oil on fried pan. After the hot, nervous, serious feeling on the way, we all make a unwilling decision to get field tripe at Son Touk Montain instead. Walking on steps to reach the top mountain with around 20 minute, and learning each significant part of the mountain with the young guide who is under 13 year-old by tell each part of the mountain though what they known in their mind to earn the money for their living way.

We all arrive at Phnom Penh at 6 pm, with the feeling of nostalgia– a feeling of pleasure and sometimes slight sadness at the same time as you think about things that happened in the past and wish all the past can happen again on day. Waiting for my brother to pick up for home under the shine of the light from streetlight in front of Royal University of Phnom Penh with around ten friends with light-hearted mind, let’s go!!! Bye!!! Bye!!! Everyone!!!


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            This legend is the well-known legend, which is talked from mouth to mouth in Cambodia every year. When the Khmer Happy New Year eve is arriving, all the people are quite enthusiastic to know about the history of Khmer New Year’s celebration. On upon a time, there is a man whose name, Dhammabal Palakumar, who is the cleverest of other people and can deal with all kind of problems correctly, speak all animal’s and bird’s languages. On day this prestige was heard to Kabil Mahabrahma, the king of the heaven, and then he came to meet Dhammabal Palakumar at human’s world. Then, he asks three question to Palakumar and bet that if Palakumar cannot answer correctly, he have to cut his head. In contrast, if he can, Mahabrahma will cut his head as the loser. Mahabrahma ask Palakumar to give the definition of the happiness in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the evening by giving seven days to solve the questions.
From day-to-day have passed, and the pointing day is approaching, but Palakumar still cannot find out the right answer for Mahabrahma. He decides to go to forest to die there secretly. Fortunately, while sleeping under two palm tree, he heard a couple of eagles is having a small talk that tomorrow we will have corpse to eat because Mahabrahma bet with Palakumar with three questions and right now Palakumar cannot solve the questions, thus we really could eat him. After that, male eagle asked to female eagle what are the answers of those questions? Palakumar heard the talk of both angles that happiness in the morning of people is one the face that is why people wash the face after getting up; in the afternoon happiness of people appear on their chest, so people wash their chest, and in the evening happiness of people is on the feet that is why people wash their feet before going to bed.
The day of the appointment is arriving; Palakumar give the answer to Mahabrahma correctly, then on behalf of the loser, Mahabrahma have to cut his head but before cutting ask seven of his daughters put his head on the golden dish by saying that if his head falls on the ground, it will get on fire and burn everything on the earth. Moreover, if that head falls in to the ocean, ocean will become dry. From that time on, seven of his daughters need to take turn in order to take care her father’s head every year. This is the scene of legend which is talked and spoken from mouth to mouth in Cambodia.

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