Home-gardening as an Alternative to Traditional Way of Life

Nowadays the forest where indigenous people used to go to find food and medicinal support is under threat from heavy deforestation and economic land concessions. CRDT has introduced home-gardening as an alternative food source for them.

Mr. Teb Nheut is a disabled man from a Bunong indigenous tribe living in Chork Char Village within Seima Protected Forest, Mondulkiri Province. In 2011, he started involving in a livelihood development project of CRDT funded by AusAid.

After joining training sessions on techniques for vegetable growing and livestock raising, he committed to the application of the techniques and saw a huge improvement in his farming activities.

“I am very happy with these livelihood activities especially vegetable growing,” said Mr. Nheut. “I can exercise everyday by working in my beautiful garden. More importantly, these vegetables are improving the health and nutrition of my family members and providing me with additional income. On average in a month, we eat 45 kg of vegetables and earn 30 000 riels (USD 7.5) from their sale, which allowed me to start saving money. What encourages me even more is that my neighbors appreciate me as a disabled person who can grow vegetable not only for eating but also for earning income”.

He added “Nowadays, the forest where our ancestors used to go to find food is under threat from heavy deforestation and economic land concessions. Vegetable growing in our home garden is a practical solution to address the problem of food and nutrition shortage we are facing especially for pregnant women and children. Moreover, home gardening can be done just on a small plot of land which can avoid large land clearance to some extent. It is even more suitable for me as a disabled person.”

By Hach Chhorn, Project Manager in Mondulkiri Project Site

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