CRIS number FOOD/2009/217-754
Country Cambodia
Title Improving Food Security for Women and Rural Poor in Mondulkiri Province
Subtitle Combining sustainable farming practices, capacity building and awareness raising help poor farmers to improve their lives and livelihoods
Abstract The project aims to improve food security of the women headed families and other vulnerable families through the application of sustainable agriculture technique, establishment of farmer groups and network as well as to gain support from local authorities and other stakeholders for ensuring a long term sustainability.
Quote “SRI alone cannot lead small farmers out of poverty, but it can be the starting point for sustainable rice-based livelihoods and for self-reliant development approaches.” Dr. Yang Saing Koma, President of CEDAC
Context Cambodia is one of the poorest Southeast Asian countries. Poverty remains most acute in the rural areas, with around 34 percent of people live under poverty line, and 75% of the poor live and depend on agriculture production and the extraction of natural resources for their livelihoods. Mondulkiri is an eastern province of Cambodia. 81% of total families in the province are farmers which mainly depend on rice production. The average rice yield is around 1.62 ton per hectare for paddy rice and only 0.67 ton per hectare for Chamkar rice, which is very lower if compared to national average (the national average is around 2.5 tons per ha). The consumption of vegetable in the dry season is very limited. Farmers are also facing difficulties in animal husbandry. The villagers also depend on the collection of Non-Timber Forest products, but the harvest is decreasing from year to year due to deforestation. There is very limited participation of farmers to participate in the planning and decision making relating to commune development.
Objectives Overall objective: The project aims to contribute to poverty alleviation and invest in vulnerable groupsSpecific objective: The project aims to enable the subsistence farmers and vulnerable social groups especially women to increase their economic and social conditions through increased food production and income as well as through improved social cooperation.
  • 2,466 households (7884 individuals) have benefited from the project. It is important to notice that 1565 households (4935 individuals) are direct beneficiaries who participate in farmer groups supported by the project.  
  • 566 farmers applied agricultural innovations including ecological System of Rice Intensification (SRI), Ecological Chicken Raising (ECR), Pig Raising, Vegetable Growing, Fish Raising, Compost Making, Multi-Purpose Tree Planting, Seed Purification etc.
  • 15 Village based Farmer Organizations (VFOs) have been established with 772 members and the total capital of 151,395,400 riels (approximately € 26,280). Under the affiliation of VFO, various farmer groups have been established:

–        19 women’s groups have been established with 424 members, total capital of 79,948,500 riels (approximately € 13,880).

–        14 youth groups with 190 members have been established, total capital of 9,887,900 riels (approximately € 1,700)

  • 59 saving groups with 1,490 members (844 women) have been established with total capital of 219,279,200 riels (approximately € 38,000).
  • 3 rice farmer producer groups, 4 chicken farmer producer groups, 6 vegetable farmer producer groups, and 6 rice banks have been established.
  • 128 key farmers have been trained by the project and playing important role to disseminate agricultural innovations in the village, including 45 farmer experts in rice production, 30 farmer experts in chicken raising, 52 farmer experts in vegetable growing.
Facts and figures Area covered: 31 villages across 10 communes in 2 districts (Kaoh Nheaek and Pech Chreada), in Mondulkiri Province.Beneficiaries:2,700 farmer families, or around 13,500 individual farmers, in 30 villages across 9 communes of 2 districts of Mondulkiri provinceDuration:  2009-2011

EC contribution: € 350,000 (83.46%  of total)

Final useful notes Links for further information

 Food Security

Improving the quality of farmers’ life

Case: Livelihood Improvement of a Cooperating Farmer with the Project “Improving Food Security For Women and Rural Poor in Mondulkiri Province”

52 years old Muong Saman is a project’s cooperating farmer who lives in Or Buon Village, Or Buon Leu Commune, Kaoh Nheaek District, Mondulkiri Province. She has cooperated with the project since 2009. Through the cooperation with the project, she has participated in many trainings and events organized by the project. As result, she has gained knowledge and technical skills which results in attitude change relating to agricultural practices and other family development activities.

In order to increase household incomes from agricultural activities, she has applied various agricultural innovations introduced and disseminated by the project, including vegetable growing, compost making etc. Before cooperating with the project, she only made incomes of 3.5 million riels (approximately € 607) in 2009, but later she earned 6 million riels (approximately € 1,041) in 2010 and 5 million riels (approximately € 868) in the first semester of 2011. Therefore, her household income has gradually increased from year-to-year thanks to the increase in agricultural production. She mentioned that she has gained a lot of income from vegetables. Particularly, she could allocate to spend 8 million riels (approximately € 1,388) to cover the expense on her children’s two wedding ceremonies.

It is important to emphasize that her family experienced food shortage for 6 months per year and many family members migrated to work outside the village as labour sellers (transplanting, land clearing…) in order to make additional income to support the family’s need.  

Now, she has strongly improved in term of the livelihood through the application of sustainable agricultural innovations introduced by the project. She is now considered as a model farmer in the target village that enable other farmers to learn from her. In addition, she would like to replicate and up-scale what she has done successfully as well as to establish Women’s Vegetable Producer Group in purpose of improving living condition of other vulnerable women in the village.

Last but not least, she is interested to apply Chicken Raising and Pig Raising in the next season as she expects to gain more income from these activities. She will also try to save more money in the saving group in order to improve cooperation and mutual-help among the farmers.