Our project in Cambodia has been on-going since 2014. The locus of our work is in the province of Battambang. Battambang is an incredibly fertile region, where rice is the main cash crop. Together with our local partner KAWP, we are working with farmers and community members to help improve farming techniques and organize small business cooperatives. Our goal is to increase crop yields, reduce environmental damage, and promote long-term economic independence.
May is the beginning of the monsoon season in Cambodia. Before the rains descended upon the fields, we talked to farmers from our project. Here we share three of their stories.
Mr. Bunthy Deb is married and has five children. He and his family live in the village of Kdoung, where they struggle to make ends meet. Last year, Deb attended a KWAP training focused on breeding chickens. There he learned how to create a sustainable flock. He was given eight hens and two roosters to help him get started.
After five months, his family had sold 25 chickens at market and had earned approximately $95.00. The family continues to successfully breed their flock, including raising broilers. Deb now has 120 chicks, 85 chickens that are in the process of being fattened, and 45 that are ready to be sold.
Mr. Soun Leng lives in the village of Raingkesey with his family. Leng attended a KWAP training which specialized in increasing rice yields. Since the training, he has begun to implement new techniques. He reported that his one hectare of land yielded 2 tons more rice during the latest harvest than he traditionally gets.
Mr. Phon Phain lives with his wife and five children. Unfortunately, one of Phain’s children is ill and the family has struggled to be able to afford treatment for him. Often, Phain has had to leave his family to find work in order to help pay for his son’s medical bills. His family struggled in his absence.
Phain and his wife took a KWAP training about how to more effectively grow vegetables. Through the program, he received startup capital, seeds, and tools. Now, the family is growing corn, cucumbers, turnips, greens, and a variety of cabbages. Not only is his family more food secure, they have increased their income as well. Selling their vegetables at the local market has earned the family approximately $60 a month. Receiving a regular income has given the family the ability to not only take care of medical expenses, but to plan for their future.