CEDAC and Women Farmer Attend CSM and CFS40 in Rome

From 5th-10th October 2013, CEDAC Program Officer Ms. Chantheang Tong and farmer Ms. Siyat Chey attended Mechanism for Civil Society Meeting (CSM) following the 40th Session of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s Committee on World Food Security (CFS40) session in Rome, Italy. Their presence at the event was part of the Women’s Traveling Journal initiated by the Asian Rural Women’s Coalition (ARWC) of Pesticide Action Network-Asia Pacific (PAN AP) and Oxfam’s GROW Campaigns. Ms. Chey Siyat, a farmer leader in Kampot province, was among the 8 women writers who wrote their stories and insights in the traveling journal.

Led by PAN AP Executive Director Ms. SAROJENI V. RENGAM, Program Coordinator Marjo Busto, Women in Agriculture Programme, and Oxfam’s Regional GROW Campaigns Coordinator Ms. Norly Grace Wilhelmine Mercado, Ms. Chey Siyat gave a presentation on her experience with seed conservation and ecological agriculture in a side event on seeds and agro-ecology practice held on 8th October at the forum. Ms. Chey said she was “excited to participate in this forum which discussed on promoting sustainable agriculture and supporting small scale producers, and especially to observe how many NGOs/civil societies are active in promoting rural women.” But she is still concerned how the decisions made and actions to be taken by the world leaders and development partners will affect the livelihood of small scale producers.”
Our Stories, One Journey: Empowering Rural Women in Asia is a journal recording the thoughts of 8 rural women for 10 days in 8 different countries. The women wrote, drew and composed poetry and songs. The journal started in March in the Philippines and traveled to Indonesia, China, Cambodia, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, ending its journey in August 2013 in Vietnam. The project, which is a joint collaboration with PAN AP, ARWC and Oxfam’s GROW Campaign, has 2 phases, with the first phase (the traveling journal) ending in August 2013. The 2nd phase revolves around campaigning to highlight rural women’s leadership and their critical roles in food security and agricultural development.