People reaping benefits from the CHAIN project
The CHAIN project aims to improve farmers’ livelihoods and resilience through, increased local capacities and facilitation of local ownership and synergies of public, private and civil society actors to develop the horticulture sector in Cambodia. Here we show some of people who have been involved in the project and are reaping the benefits.
Vong Noy is a commercial farmer in a farmer group in Kamphan Village in Stung Treng province. He is 38 years old and married with two sons and one daughter. After participating in the CHAIN project, Vong Noy now focuses on farming as his primary occupation. On his land he grows different vegetables, such as 3 hectares of Mungbean, half a hectare of waxy corn, and 16 ares of eggplant. Recently he planted 17 acres of cucumber. He already installed a trellising net and used new technologies for seedling transplantation.
To gain knowledge about new techniques, Vong Noy attended trainings and received assistance from CHAIN project partner companies EWSF and PDAFF. The topics he learned about are land preparation, seedling production, seedling transplanting, plastic mulching, trellising net installation, and drip installations, amongst others. Currently, he and other commercial farmers in his village are learning about additional horticultural technologies, and he hopes to benefit even more from the CHAIN project by learning new practices in the future.
Ms. Eag Chanra is a commercial farmer, living in Kaing Deisar near Stung Treng City, and started working with the CHAIN project in 2015.
Before she joined the project, she planted leafy crops such as choy sam, bok choy, hot chilli, morning glory, and curly chinese mustard. Now she has also planted cucumbers. Through training she learned to use plastic mulching on the crop beds, to install trellising nets and use raised beds for cultivation. Crop rotation has helped her to avoid pests and decrease negative effects on her crops.
Ms. Sotheara is a horticulture input supplier in Stung Treng city who established a contract with the CHAIN project. Since then, she started selling a variety of horticultural products from various companies. Every day, between 40 to 60 farmers come to buy her products, both members of CHAIN and from outside of the project. The most popular products bought by farmers include fertilisers, vegetable varieties, and trellising nets.
The commercial farmer group in Orei village started working with the CHAIN project in 2015. The group has 17 members, of which 15 people grow leafy crops such as lettuce, choy sam, green chinese mustard, and curly chinese mustard. Each group member has a farming garden with sizes varying between 100 m2 and 500 m2. At the moment, the group harvests 100-150 kilograms of vegetables every day. Harvested vegetables are collected by traders who have been introduced to the group through the CHAIN project. The farmers are paid € 50-100 per day for their harvest.
Mrs Thou Chetra grows vegetables with her husband. Sometimes Mrs. Chetra hires labourers to help with harvesting, but most of the time she works her farming plot together with her husband. She grows cucumbers, yard long bean, tomato, eggplant, pumpkin, wax gourd, chilli and petsai. Cucumber is her main crop. She has allotted one hectare to the crop and earns about €3200 from the sales annually.
When we visit their farm, it is harvesting season for the yard long beans. Mrs Chetra harvests about 200-250 kg every day. She sells the vegetables in nearby markets and supplies them to 4 primary schools under the Home Grown School Feeding project by WFP. In addition, this season a trader from Kralanh district comes directly to buy vegetables from her farm. She earns about €100 per day with these sales. She also has been selected to conduct a trial to grow tomatoes, which arecurrently bearing flowers.
Usually, Mrs. Chetra is able to grow vegetables from July to February. In other months there is a water shortage and she can only grow watermelons on half a hectare, as they take less water than other crops. With the help of the CHAIN project she rehabilitated an old pond: She cleared it of rubbish and overgrown plants and deepened it. She hopes that she can now use the pond as a water source for a longer period, extending her growing season and raising her income.
Mrs. Lin Phalla lives in Chouk Kruos village in Samroang commune.
She started trading vegetables in 2012. She buys vegetables from local farmers and sells them to local grocery stores, together with imported products. In some villages. She gets around on a small motorbike that can carry about 100kg, which she uses to travel every day between her home and the Chongkal district. She buys mixed vegetables from villages in the CHAIN project targeted area. She sells the vegetables and her products to retailers along the road and to market traders on Samroang and Chong Kal market.
She has problems to expand her business as her husband is focused on raising cattle and she is looking after her mother and children. She would like to invest in a small car in order to expand the area in which she can collect vegetables and reduce her workload, but she will need some years to save up capital. Mrs. Lin Phalla is interested to collaborate with the CHAIN project and she is willing to provide the market information and technical services to farmers. She does request the CHAIN project to organise group level collection points for vegetables to save on time collecting produce.