Ms Van Samnang found her opportunities limited
Ms Van Samnang, 25 years old, lives with her 5 brothers and 4 sisters in the village of Kampong Damrey which is located in Boeug Char Commun, Sambo district in Kratie province. She and her family are rice farmers but everyday life is tough and the farming they do is just for their own consumption. Opportunities to generate more income are limited and because of this, Samnang’s parents were unable to support her past Grade Three in school, due to the extra costs involved including for books and transport. She lives on a remote island which has few transport links to the urban centre.
CRDT offers communities the chance to acquire new skills and knowledge in farming
In 2016 CRDT launched the project to promote resilience in agricultural production and enterprises for food security among subsistence farmers along the Mekong, in order to provide villagers the opportunity to acquire new skills and carry out sustainable farming methods. CRDT offers trainings and seminars to farmers on how to cultivate a wide variety of different crops and how to implement more efficient working practices. These farmers can then act as role model for the rest of the community, encouraging others to replicate similar climate-change resilient agriculture methods.
Ms Samnang was excited to get involved with this project and join CRDT’s partnership with the CCCA (Cambodia Climate Change Alliance).
“I joined CRDT because I wanted to have knowledge on agriculture like vegetable-growing and livestock-raising.” Samnang explains.
She was able to greatly expand her farming activities
Since Ms Samnang was selected to join CRDT’s cyclical-farming project, she has increased the variety of vegetables cultivated and has diversified her farming activities to include raising livestock as well.
“So far I have cleared the land for CCCA-CRDT farming projects. I have also built a fence around the land and constructed a chicken pen, as well as growing different type of vegetables such as the long bean and lettuce.” Samnang enthuses.
Ms Samnang has learnt a number of innovative farming techniques that have allowed her to grow crops more efficiently. In particular, she uses drip irrigation to water her crops; this method minimises waste by applying water to localised areas slowly which reduces evaporation. CRDT has also installed an automatic solar-powered water pump that supplies clean water directly from the river.
These agricultural techniques increase the sustainability of food production as they are resistant to the impact of climate change. Water is now available all-year as a result of both the solar-powered pump and the drip irrigation system, which recycles any excess water. Because of this, Ms Sanmang is able to grow crops throughout the year even in periods of drought, thereby increasing the quantity and range of food products harvested.
Ms Samnang hopes to be a role model for her community
Ms Samnang has already learnt a number of skills through the model farmer project and earns a monthly wage of 23,000R ($57) from CRDT. Ms Samnang is very hopeful about the future: “I hope this is just the starting point of me being a model farmer with CRDT. I hope that, through CRDT, I will gain more skills and knowledge and finish the project.” Ms Van Samnang is only 6 months into her 3-year project with CRDT and is looking forward to the further skills she will learn and the positive impact this will have on her community.
Once she completes her project with CRDT, she hopes to have gained the knowledge to independently engage in cyclical farming and sustainably grow her own food products. Moreover, it is hoped that Ms Samnang can act as a model for the rest of the community, so other farmers can learn about and adopt the same sustainable production methods. She hopes to encourage others to harvest a wider range of different crops that are resilient to climate change; thereby generating more income within the community and increasing access to markets.