Farmers in the commune were referring to the rehabilitation of existing small and medium scale irrigation, which will be carried out with technical assistance and support from a team of consultants from PRIMEX in association with DCDD (Philippines) and CADTIS (Cambodia) with loan funding from ADB to the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology (MOWRAM) of Cambodia. PRIMEX Team Leader/Water Resources Management Specialist, Dr. Jose Galvez, and PRIMEX Executive Vice President, Guillermo Morales, visited the communes in Kampong Thom and Siem Reap to meet with local government officials and farmers during their first visit to the project area from 16-22 March 2012.
Prior to the field visit, Dr. Galvez and Mr. Morales, together with CADTIS executives and consultants led by the Deputy Team Leader, Mr. Prum Viratha, paid a courtesy visit to H.E. Veng Sakhon, Secretary of State for Water Resources and Meteorology and Program Director. At that meeting, H.E. Veng emphasized the need for the project to be quickly implemented to benefit the communes. The project is expected to boost farm productivity in the 27 subproject areas, which will enhance food security for 14,400 households.
Kampong Thom is one of the communes which badly need the irrigation project to enable them to grow two to three crops (instead of the current one crop) of rice per year. Farmers expressed concern that, as the wet season starts in May and ends in October (with flooding after that), the inability to construct the facilities this year will, in effect, move construction activities to the next summer, which is equivalent to another one year of delay in project activities..
This, as well as other issues, raised by stakeholders in the project area, have been noted by Dr. Galvez and will be incorporated in the detailed project implementation plan to be discussedat the upcoming project scoping, visioning, and teambuilding (PSVT) workshop.