Roll out of Think.Coop and Start.Coop with Cambodian agricultural cooperatives

The Government of Cambodia strengthens agricultural cooperatives using the ILO’s training tools with a view to improving livelihoods of workers in the rural economy.

Actualité | 25 février 2019
Officials of MAFF and ILO
In late 2018, the Department of Agricultural Cooperative Promotion (DACP) of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) of Cambodia, with the support of the ILO/Japan Fund for Building Social Safety Nets in Asia and the Pacific (SSN Fund), started building capacities of agricultural cooperatives using the ILO’s Think.Coop training toolThink.Coop is a 6-hour module providing simple information on the basics and benefits of cooperation to improve livelihoods opportunities.

Following the positive results of a national consultation workshop and provincial implementation of Think.Coop in five coastal and mountainous provinces with more than 300 farmers, the DACP is committed to delivering Think.Coop training sessions in six other provinces in 2020. In parallel, a consultation workshop on Start.Coop, a training programme to launch a cooperative in a participatory manner that uses a similar methodology to Think.Coop will be organized with the participation of national and provincial agricultural cooperative promoters nationwide, and then rolled out to strengthen the capacities of existing agricultural cooperatives.

With efforts of the DACP, the number of agricultural cooperatives has reached to 1,116 with 60,000 producer members, but the quality of their management, productivity and members’ capacities need to be improved. Mr. Ekasar Ear, Deputy Director of DACP, emphasized that the DACP will focus on building the capacity of existing agricultural cooperatives from now on. He believes that both Think.Coop and Start.Coop are relevant and necessary in order to advance the effectiveness and sustainability of the cooperatives with a view to improving members’ livelihoods.

Apart from DACP, Think.Coop is being used by Oxfam Cambodia in order to promote women’s economic empowerment through the Saving for Change (SfC) programme.