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Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP)

Building resilient communities in Cambodia

Nearly 80 percent of Cambodians live in rural areas, with many relying on agriculture as their primary source of food and income. Floods and droughts often threaten their food system.

In subsistence agricultural households, farmers grow crops to meet their own family’s immediate food needs and are often dependent on producing healthy crops for their survival. When a family has secure access to food, they are less vulnerable to disease and poverty and more likely to have improved nutrition.

Lat and Em are rice and poultry farmers living in rural Cambodia. They participated in a training program supported by Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) NGO Caritas Australia and implemented in partnership with eight local Cambodian NGOs.

Before undertaking the training, Lat and Em experienced poor harvests due to ongoing water shortages. Many of their chickens and ducks contracted diseases and died due to a lack of water. All these issues made it hard for them to make a sustainable income.

Through the training they boosted their skills in chicken raising and vegetable cultivation, as well as improving their water collection and storage methods.

These sustainable farming techniques enabled them to increase their food and water security, adapt to environmental changes and build resilience to floods and droughts.

Now, Lat and Em’s farm is thriving, their income has increased and they are working with their community to rehabilitate shared waterways and to construct toilets in the village.

“Before I could not grow vegetables year-round and did not have enough quantity for selling to get an income, as we had no water sources for farming,” Lat says.

Em continued, “Now I am raising chicken and ducks, with a very low rate dying and can sell them all, almost every month. These best results are because I practice better techniques, including building a chicken house, feeding the chickens more regularly, using ecological medicines and separating chicken and chicks – all of these practices which I didn’t know their importance before joining project.”

This project is benefiting thousands of families in Cambodia by supporting them to build resilience against the impacts of climate change and disasters, to improve health and food security, and to promote sustainable livelihoods.

Two people holding bunches of string beans on a farm

Lat and Em learnt sustainable farming techniques. Credit: Caritas Australia

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