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“It’s easier to sell products this way ”, Ly Theort, Co-operative Leader

The Improving Market Access for the Poor (IMA4P) programme supports farmers to turn their rice farmers into thriving commercial enterprises. Through training, co-operatives and linkages with key players in the market, farmers are able to have a more secure, profitable income.

Co-operative leader and mother of two Ly Theort talks about the project and his community.

Ly Theort, cooperative leader, Cambodia VSO/Sophal Neak

Ly Theort, 64, at her farm, Battambang Province, Cambodia. Ly Theort is the leader of the PornThmey Kdey Sangkim Neykaksekor cooperative

“I’ve been a cooperative chief leader for over ten years. I was voted in each time.

I check the record books and seeds. I’m the key person to find the market and lead relationships  with other NGO’s and the government. I let the government know that my agricultural co-operative is working.

The price of the paddy is not balanced with the price of the labour of the farmer in Cambodia.

This is the first year that we’ve done contract farming with two companies. When I do a contract with a company, the farmer knows from day one of growing his paddy that they have a market to buy the product. They know what to sell it for. They can get a good price. Farmers, like me, see that it’s easy to sell products this way.

Farmers don’t yet show their emotion or feelings on this product. It’s the first year we are testing it. But we can get additional income and a good price.

With the extra money, I myself can get an extra $5,000 and use this money to buy more farmland.

We can also use this extra money to do a flood or micro-land operation- that can be really good for farming. The rest we use as credit to create business.

Farmer and coop leader, Ly Theort VSO/Sophal Neak

Farmer and coop leader, Ly Theort, with international volunteers Giovanni Villafuerte and Al Razon and national volunteer, Thorn Danou

VSO IMA4P training has given us a way to analyse economics and know our expenditure. I have gotten training on managing our accounting book. We were trained on business plans, seeds, paddies and transport. With this, I can see us becoming more profitable.

I would like VSO continue to support not just my agricultural co-operative, but others too. I want them to come up with new ideas to build up capacity so that we become stronger.

VSO can adapt. They have good behaviours. I like that they really adapt to farmers and get used to us.

More farmers are joining our co-operatives because they trust us. That means we can increase our capital and investments. Now, the farmers are really happy.”

Find out more about our work in Cambodia

Find out more about Improving Market Access for the Poor


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