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About Caritas Cambodia
Caritas Cambodia is an official social development arm of the Catholic Church in Cambodia. It has been built on the values of Love, Concern, Justice, Peace Unity, Sharing and brotherhood. It draws inspiration from the Gospel and aims at integral development of people irrespective of race and creed. Hence the objectives of Caritas Cambodia specifically include the following.

To promote and strengthen activities that are aimed at the integral development of communities particularly to help in Sustainable Agriculture, empowerment program, economic program, Welfare program,
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Latest News...
Group photo of trainees including staff and farmers with PGS producer group in Kandal province.
  T16 staff from Integrated Community Development Program came together for a TOT Training on Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) from 12-16 June 2017. As part of the training program, staff participants and other 12 farmers from Battambang province took part in an exposure visit to organic shop and producer groups who applied model of PGS. This training is led by the department of Program, Monitoring and Evaluation. Mr. Sim Pov, Planning, monitoring and evaluation officer said
the training aims to build capacity of program staff, strengthen their knowledge and skill on key concept of PGS including key steps and tools to enable them to transfer the knowledge and skill to farmers , to establish and facilitate PGS group in their project areas. He added the training would also allow an opportunity for staff to understand on marketing linkage of organic product, partnership building among organic shops and so on.
PGS , as defined by International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements(IFOAM) are locally focused quality assurance systems. They certify producers based on active participation of stakeholders and are built on a foundation of trust, social networks and knowledge exchange. They represent an alternative to third party certification, especially adapted to local markets and short supply chains.

Mr. Houn Kosal, program coordinator for Battambang office and a trainer who is well-trained by a project named “Small-Scale Farmer Inclusion in Organic Agriculture Development through Participatory Guarantee System”, supported by Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) explained that an applied model of PGS is key to enhance the quality of life for farmers and small holders through their organic farming practices.

Caritas Cambodia is committed to improve socio-economical condition of the poor by facilitating the development of local markets for organic products and aims for regional market in the long-run, said Mr. Kosal, adding that to do so, Caritas has just begun a pilot project with two PGS groups, with a total of 20 families (10 families in each group) . The families have been working hard on applying PGS model on their vegetable farming. 13 of out the 20 families are doing great and has managed to send their vegetables to Natural Village Mart, run by Caritas Cambodia’s Social Enterprise, according to Mr. Kosal.

Participants are tentatively grasping the key concept of PGS and working hard in group discussion
A 41 year-old farmer, Mr. Sao Sun, one of the 20 families in the PGS groups, from Rukakiri district of Battambang province has been trained on PGS by Caritas’s Battambong program. He rapidly began applying PGS model on his vegetable garden after the training. Mr. Sun is happy not only with the income and profit he made from his organic vegetables, but also with the improved soil fertility by using organic methods.  “I make 200 dollars over the past few months, a profit from selling organic vegetables to Caritas’s Natural Village Mart in Phnom Penh”. I will continue to work harder on producing organic vegetables by applying PGS model and will expand it”, claimed Mr. Sun.

He thanked Caritas for organizing the exposure visit. “I am happy to join the exposure program and exchange knowledge and experience in applying PGS standard among the PGS producer groups in Kandal province”, he said.

Caritas keeps on encouraging farmers to produce a diverse of organic products. A community development facilitator Mr. Loung Savuth, one of the trainees from Caritas’s Kampong Thom program said he will share the knowledge from the training and experiences and new learning from the exposure program to apply in his community work. Mr. Savuth claimed that he will form PGS groups. “I am committed to form two PGS groups in Santuk district. Poor families will be selected to join the groups”, he mentioned.

Meeting with PGS producer groups to learn about organic farming practices and visiting organic vegetable mart to learn about the market and how the organic mart is set up
Under the project of “Small-Scale Farmer Inclusion in Organic Agriculture Development through Participatory Guarantee System”, there are three organizations and one private sector who are nominated as facilitating organizations on PGS in Cambodia, namely, Caritas Cambodia, CEDAC, Center for Organic Development and National Agriculture Village (private sector).


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