Supporting Community Livelihoods through Ecological Farming and Natural Resource Management

Program Background

At the national level, Cambodia has enjoyed a period of high economic growth. Meanwhile the economic gap between people’s lives in urban areas and rural areas is increasing. Most of the poor live in rural areas and they are suffering from land grabbing at the hands of companies or losses by unusual weather. Because of this, some people even lose their land because of debts and go to cities to get jobs at factories. However, employment is not stable and the salary is not enough to sustain their livelihood. Therefore, maintaining the stability of farming is very important for decreasing the economic gaps within Cambodia.

1. Training on Ecological Farming

JVC staff explains how to grow seedings in a training seminar

JVC had interviews with 180 families to evaluate our activities. As a result,we found that their rice production has been improved. When we started our activities ten years ago, only 1/4 of families were self-suf cient in rice production. Now, 2/3 of families produce enough rice to sustain their livelihood. However still many of families do not grow enough vegetables and they have to buy them for their family’s consumption. Therefore, JVC introduced “forest garden” and 107 farmers attended our trainings. In this forest garden, we planted edible perennial plants, fruit trees, herbs and vegetables together, utilizing the small space ef ciently. Also we reduced insect attacks and diseases by mixing plants, so that makes it easier to take care of the garden. Some farmers introduced this concept and started preparing their own forest garden.

2. Food Processing Groups

She challenged herself to making dried mango

Members of a women’s group in Don Sok village held trainings for women in three villages. They shared about how to make pickles from cucumber, salted lime and duck eggs, soya bean paste, and lemongrass tea. Attendants are very happy to learn those skills, since they do not need to buy them from market anymore. In addition, we organized a study tour to Battambang University and 18 women from six villages joined. They learned about how to make dry sh, dry pork, dry fruits, pumpkin juice and taro juice. These processed foods are favorites of children and are expected to improve their level of nutrition.

3. Environmental Education and Reforestation

Women learn the method for making taro juice

JVC started providing environmental education in six schools. In 2015, we have provided opportunities for grade four students and around 200 students joined. They discussed the relationship between humans and nature through the observation of natural resources in their school. Also they organized a village cleaning day and collected garbage from around their school. In addition, they grew trees from seedlings including traditional tree spices. Then they planted them in the school grounds and community space in cooperation with their parents and other villagers.

4. Trainers’ Resources Center (TRC)

Children grow seedings at a school

In 2015, we donated agricultural books and documents to the community center at our project site, so that farmers could refer to those books according to their needs. Also we conducted nine trainings on ecological agriculture, as well as environment and community development. A total of 63 university students attended our trainings.

(source: “JVC Annual Report – 2015 report”)

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