ince 1998, farmers (mostly rice farmers) have started to organize themselves into village-based associations and network, with support from CEDAC. The associations are playing an important role in promoting mutual help, solidarity and cooperation among villagers, as well as coordinating and undertaking collective action in developing ecological agriculture, natural resources management, cooperative business practices and community development.
The typical activities of the associations are agricultural extension, community led savings and credit schemes, group marketing, training for young farmers, capacity building for women groups, support for poorest families, awareness raising on issues related to conservation of natural resources, advocacy with local authorities etc. Farmers associations have also played an important role in influencing local development policies and challenging local authorities to be more responsible for community development and natural resources management.
By June, 2009, there are 1,107 village based farmer associations in 1,104 village of 11 provinces of Cambodia with around 40,292 members (23,591 of them women) established with support from village based farmer association and CEDAC, and the number has been strongly increasing since early 2004. The associations are linked together in an independent national network or confederation called “Farmer and Nature Net” or FNN.