BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA
The Cambodian Centre for Study and Development in Agriculture (CEDAC) has conducted a workshop on “Rural Youth and Based Development” in Agriculture for media groups for two days from July 3rd-4th in Preah Sihanbouk province. The workshop was sponsored by the Friedrich-Naumann Foundation for Liberty (FNF).
The workshop on “Rural Youth and Based Development” is aimed to encourage and promote the youths, especially the students who dropped out or abandoned their studies to turn to agricultural skills professionals so that they can become a future professional farmer or young agro-entrepreneurs in the Kingdom of Cambodia.
More than 50 Cambodian journalists from newspapers, radio and television and farmers have attended the workshop.
Dr. Yang Saing Koma, CEDAC’s President, said that the youths are the strength and main human resources in the rural based development and the country development.
Currently many Cambodian youths and students had dropped out of school or they have just finished secondary schools and were jobless or could not find proper jobs to do in supporting their families, he said, adding that this issue has created trouble and burdens for Cambodian government as well as their families.
“We are now very concerned about our youths who are the country’s strengths and future human resources in Cambodia,” he said. “We wanted the media groups to seek the importance of rural youths, their potentials and their realities, and know how CEDAC worked with them to promote the young agro-entrepreneurs in our country,” he added.
He stated that to promote the participation of rural youths in based development in agriculture, the media has an important role in writing articles related to agricultural topics and publishing in their newspapers, radios and televisions to reach the people and youths.
Dr. Yang Saing Koma said that his organization began its training of agro-entrepreneurs and rural development professionals skills for youths in 2006 and so far, over 500 Cambodian youths and students who have dropped out schools were trained by CEDAC.
Currently, the youth training program conducted in Takeo, Kampot, Pursat, Prey Veng, Svay Rieng, Kampong Speu, Kampong Chhnang, and Ratanakiri provinces.
To promote the young agro-entrepreneurs, rural youths, farmer organization leaders, community business cooperative leaders, and rural development professionals, CEDAC will continue to conduct more training and recruit more Cambodian poor rural youths and students who dropped out to attend CEDAC’s training program in the future, he said.
During the workshop, with the strong support from CEDAC and FNF, the journalists have also established “Press Saving Association of Cambodia” or “PSAC” in order to save their money for their future living-conditions and work in Cambodia.
CEDAC) is a national Cambodian not-for-profit NGO specializing in the field of ecological agriculture and rural development. The centre was created in August 1997 with initial support from the French NGO, GRET. In 2008, CEDAC has been developed into 3 Core Programs including the CEDAC Institute for Local Development (CILD). CILD was officially launched in August 2008 and aims to contribute to the development of a qualified human resource in the field of sustainable agriculture and rural development.
CEDAC’s main mission is to provide training services in ecological agriculture, community development and socially responsible enterprises; explore and develop appropriate innovations and technologies to support the development of local communities; facilitate a network to share and exchange knowledge and experiences in sustainable local development; and people, both youth and professionals who received training from CILD which will specialize and qualify as: agro-entrepreneurs; farmer Organization Leaders; community business cooperative leaders; rural development professionals; local development planners and local policy makers.