Second General Assembly of FWN in Kampong Thom
From September 17th-19th, 2012; the 2nd General Assembly of the Farmer and Water Net (FWN) was co-organized by FWN and the Irrigation Service Center (ISC) at its office in Kampong Thom province. FWN is the first national network of FWUCs from eight provinces; namely: Kampong Thom, Kampong Cham, Banteay Mean Chey, Siem Reap, Kampong  Speu, Kandal, Prey Veng and Preah Sihanouk. It currently has more than 26,000 members, covers 23,000 ha of irrigated area and was registered in the MOI on December 6, 2011. The majority of FWN members have all together collected more than 557 million riels (or approximately135, 000 USD) in irrigation service fees in 2012, which will be used for maintenance and project operation of the schemes.

        The objectives of the meeting were to:
  • Report on the progress of each member of the Farmer Water User Community (FWUC) since the last meeting
  • Report the activities of FWN in 2011 and 2012
  • Share good practices and experiences in FWUCs management
  • Learn from FWUC’s experience in management and irrigation issues from a recent study tour in France, Australia and other countries
  • Review and reflect on the vision of the network
  • Plan its activities for the rest of 2012 and 2013.
23 representatives from the twelve FWUCs took time to discuss and share while working to reach the above-mentioned objectives. Resource persons present at the meeting include Dr. Yang Saing Koma, President of CEDAC; Mr. Khim Sophanna, FNF Program Manager and ISC Chairman; and Mr. Seng Sophak, ISC Executive Director. Several staff from ISC took part in the meeting to learn from the network and provide technical support to the workshop.
         
           The following tasks are planned for 2012 and 2013:
  • Provide training on budget planning and financial management to FWUCs representatives
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  • Strengthen the network and, in time, invite more eligible FWUCs to join
  • Report to MOWRAM and other stakeholders about its activities and seek closer cooperation with them
  • Create a website for FWN
  • Open a bank account
  • Organize study tours to other irrigation schemes and commercial farms
  • Explore the possibility of selling paddy rice collectively at FWUC level
  • Organize a third General Assembly in 2013
  • Organize regular meetings of steering committee’s members
  • Explore the possibility of seeking membership in the Asia Farmer Association (AFA)
  • Achieve closer cooperation with Farmer and Nature Net (FNN)
  • Update the irrigated areas of each FWUC and its members
The first General Assembly was organized in Kampong Thmar from May 26-27, 2012. FWN is thankful to CEDAC and ISC for technical support and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom for financial support, which contributes to the success of this assembly.