By Vang Sean,

Mr. Sun Leang is 26 years old and a member of the young couple group[1] in PunNghealeang village, Ankoreach commune, Preah Sdach district, Prey Veng province. He was married in 2006 and has one son and one daughter. In total, there are 8 family members in the family including him, his wife, his mother, his son and daughter and 3 nieces.

After married, he lived with his parents but then he lived separately from the parents since 2009. He has only 0.22 ha for rice cultivation, he normally cultivate rice two times per year in order to produce more rice for the family consumption. On average, he can harvest 800 kg of rice per year. It is important to know that he use 50 kg of chemical fertilizer to produce rice. Moreover, the rice production was not enough for his family consumption with 4 months need to bought rice which amount 360 kg (rice which mill already). He raised chicken with 2 hens and a year sold chickens twice time, 6 chickens each time so in a year get money 200 000 Riel. Furthermore, he had one cow and also collected natural fertilizer, about 1500 Kg a year but did not have a place to store it.

To make money for buying rice, Leang and his wife sold labor to the other farmers in the village, he could get 15 man/day x 12000 riels/day = 180,000 riels (Approximately 45 USD). In addition, he migrated to work as construction worker in Phnom Penh for about 3 months per year.

Since June 2010, he has cooperated with the project mentioned above and received many training support from the project including the training on System of Rice Intensification (SRI), vegetable growing, chicken raising and fish culture. It is important to notice that he has successfully practiced these agricultural innovations. In addition, he has also received training on concept of food security, appropriate agricultural innovations, reasons of setting up young couple farmer group, roles and responsibilities of the young couple farmer group management committee etc. He was selected to become an secretary of the young couple group.

Through the practices of agricultural innovations (rice cultivation and livestock husbandry), he bought additional rice field, up to now he has 0.44 ha for rice cultivation area. And now he harvested 2500 kg of rice per year which is quite different from the situation before the project’s intervention. It is important to notice that he sold 1000 kg of rice in order to make money for buying rice field as mentioned above. Besides, he digs canal in his homestead with 40 meters length, 2 meters width and 1.5 meters depth for raising fish in next rainy season and takes soil to growing fruit trees and vegetables. At the same time, he has also increased in number of chicken produced per year. Now, he has 6 hens and was able to sell 30 chickens with income of 540 000 Riels (approximately 135 USD). While increasing in number of chicken produced, his family now can eat 2-3 chickens per month. Furthermore, he also builds place for collecting natural fertilizer with amount 3 tons of natural fertilizer. He was been saving money in his group every month since August 2010 with amount 1000 – 5000 Riels per month. After he cooperated with project, he stopped migrating to work in Phnom Penh.

In 2011, he plans to continue raising his chicken and expect to have 10 hens. Moreover, he will practice SRI in 0.22 ha and fish raising.

[1] With funding support from the European Union (EU), CEDAC has implemented a project titled “Improving Food Security of the Most Venerable Families in Prey Veng province” since early 2010. The project is contributed to the eradication of poverty and food insecurity among smallholder farmers in Cambodia by building their capacity to increase food production and to develop income generating activities. The project primarily target to the young couple families who are married and lack of food for family consumption more than three months.