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Volunteer for Small scale farmer co-operative development in Cambodia

Brief Description

Description of assignment:

Cambodia is located in South East Asia and has a population of 14.56 million. It has made remarkable progress since civil war and the brutal Khmer Rouge regime devastated the country three decades ago. The legacy of war looms over modern Cambodia, and the loss of human, social and physical capital during those years profoundly impact the country today. While Cambodia's recent period of stability has translated into economic growth, the impacts have been primarily urban, with approximately 90% of the country's poor living in rural areas, and the gap between urban and rural is widening. 80% of the Cambodian population live in rural areas and the majority support themselves through farming. Rural farmers face high costs, low yields and a lack of market information. CCA and FNN are working with these rural farmers in order to combat these challenges.

Farmers in this project are small scale land holders (under one hectare), often working more than one business, producing for income and home consumption, little or no access to banking services, low education, low productivity.

The position:

This project takes place over 6 months with three weeks in country. Working with CCA's intern you will develop a comprehensive training module that will help farmers manage small-scale agriculture as a viable business. This will include simple cash flow, and tracking systems, budgets & saving. As many farmers in the target group will have limited experience with this, it is important that the training module be engaging, participatory and have practical exercises to reinforce the technical information.

  • under your guidance, CCA's intern will work with FNN to lay the groundwork for your trip by finding existing training material, learning about what training has and hasn't worked in the past and identifying the realities of rural Cambodia.
  • working with the intern, you will offer feedback and advice for the development of a training program. This could include writing or sharing existing text.
  • you will spend three weeks in Cambodia solidifying the training module and working with the FNN team to field test the material.
  • if support is needed after your trip, you will follow up, as necessary.

The right candidate will have:

The candidate will need to be flexible, adaptable, culturally sensitive and strong in co-operative knowledge. An understanding of poverty and familiarity with Cambodia is an asset, though a demonstrated willingness to learn is welcome.

  • an interest in and ability to coach/mentor a highly qualified CCA intern. The intern in is Cambodia now.
  • access to reliable technology and ability to email/Skype
  • an understanding of small-scale farm business dynamics
  • experience with adult education techniques and training development
  • ability to travel to Cambodia this winter - January is best for farming cycle
  • an interest in telling your story upon return home
  • you must be a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant to qualify for this posting

Canadian Co-operative Association

The Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) is a national association for co-operatives in Canada, representing more than nine million co-operative and credit union members from over 2,000 organizations. Individual co-op members are represented by CCA either directly through their co-operative, through their provincial co-op associations or credit union central, or through sectoral organizations. CCA provides leadership to promote, develop, and unite co-operatives and credit unions for the benefit of people in Canada and around the world.

Farmers Nature Net (FNN)

There are a small, growing number of agricultural co-ops existing in Cambodia but a robust network of farmers' associations - democratically managed, community based groups of up to 50 persons. Farmers Nature Net (FNN) is a network that represents 34,000 households in 1,181 villages in 11/18 provinces. 53% of the members are women. FNN has 20 co-operative organizations, some in the development stage, and mostly at the village level, in retail, finance, animal processing, vegetable selling, and rice processing/sale.


Please send a detailed letter of interest and copy of your resume to Sarah Feldberg, Volunteer Coordinator at by November 11, 2011. Only qualified candidates will be contacted for an interview.

*This is a voluntary assignment. All related costs including domestic and international airfare, ground transport, visa, travel insurance, out of country accommodation, and a meal/incidental allowance will be covered by CCA. For more information contact Volunteer Co-ordinator, Sarah Feldberg.