Eighty percent of the population of Cambodia depends on farming for their livelihoods. Typically farmers grow only rice, producing a single crop each year. Poor soil quality is a major constraint on productivity, along with erratic rains and the increasingly frequent occurrence of flooding and drought. Households generally earn very low incomes from rice production due to low productivity and a lack of access to markets. The result has been extensive migration from rural areas by men and women – and particularly by youth – seeking jobs as laborers and garment factory workers, leaving rural areas with low labor supplies. This is predicted to have a major impact on the future of food security in Cambodia, on the local economy, and on social structures.
World Renew and 5 local Cambodian partner organizations seek to address these issues by showing rural communities that farming can be a viable source of income. Building on six years of programming and the establishment of Farmer Field Schools, this program will focus on an innovative extension model, establishing 65 multi-purpose model farms which will help support learning for an additional 600 farmers. The goal of the program is improved food security and income for rural farming households. This will be accomplished by: