Central to the project are farmer education and training programs, in which the beneficiaries themselves participate in all stages of project implementation under the instruction of the project field team. This provides the beneficiaries with a sense of ownership and ensures project sustainability and success. Also, environmental education components are included in all training activities to inspire communities to value their environment through participation in the project’s activities.
The establishment and training of community-based organizations (CBOs) undertaking sustainable livelihood activities imparts skills which allow group members to effect the changes in their communities and their own lives, to access commune NRM (Natural Resource Management) funding and/or resources and to have a voice in local government to communicate their needs and concerns as well as to participate in commune development planning. Such groups put community support structures in place that allow beneficiaries to exchange knowledge and experiences as well as to work together to set prices, access markets and secure revenues for their products. Project teams also conduct training and facilitate the establishment of group saving components within groups as a mean for members to purchase the necessary materials for the continuation, repair, and/or expansion of livelihood activities upon CRDT project completion.
CRDT builds the capacity of selected model farmers/group members and provides them with intensive training in skills needed to build their capacity related to sustainable livelihood activities. These skill sets remain with village model farmers and extension workers providing a source of information and assistance on technical implementation to all group members long after the project finishes.
Additional training is also delivered on improved agricultural practices by providing study tours for beneficiaries to learn about the success of other CRDT projects and/or other selected facilities in Cambodia. Study tours allow farmers to exchange experiences with each other on related project activities thereby generating increased motivation and interest in these activities. Seeing results among other like-minded farmers before activities are undertaken allows new project participants to visualize success and contributes to the sustainability of the project.
Based on the benefits and success of other project activities, the combination of supplying renewable resource infrastructure, clean water supply, seeds and a detailed training program, ensures that the benefits of this integrated organic system will be self sustaining and aid in breaking the local cycle of poverty. As a result, the living condition within villages improves substantially and continues to do so into the future.