Asia

In Cambodia, a family’s rice field flourishes despite drought

Bunthoeun, 45, his wife and their four children had a successful rice harvest in spite of last year’s drought because of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) he’d learned through FRB’s Cambodia-South program.

He also applied appropriate farming and poultry-raising techniques he’d mastered at the program’s hands-on Farmer Field School (FFS). The various new methods allowed him to provide diverse and nutritious food for his family, and he even had some surplus rice, produce and chickens to sell at the local market. With his newly acquired capital, he has been able to expand his rice field. 

04/08/2015 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Suraja, a lifelong day laborer in Nepal, is now growing vegetables

FRB’s Nepal-Bhatigachcha program responds to the widespread malnutrition and seasonal hunger among marginalized, landless residents in Bhatigachha. Though the area is the most fertile in the country, residents typically do not own land, and resort to day labor for their subsistence. The program supports access to leased land for farmers' and mothers' groups so they can farm vegetables for home consumption and income to help themselves out of the cycle of poverty. Here is one farmer’s story:

03/03/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Reflecting on the 1st year shows progress in Timor Leste

Participants from FRB’s Timor Leste-Viqueque program recently reviewed their first-year progress and gave feedback on program strengths and weaknesses during a “beneficiary accountability” meeting. They expressed gratitude for updates from program staff on project goals and objectives and for the chance to weigh in, stating that it was the first time any programming organization had taken the time to report back to them or ask them their opinions.

01/06/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Ten years down the road, sustainable development continues in Laos

Community development takes many years of work before you start seeing its fruits. We sometimes become discouraged at the slow pace of change, especially when working in remote and challenging contexts. The continued success of villages like those in FRB's Laos Xieng Khouang program gives us hope that our approach works in the long run.

In the 80s, ZOA, a Dutch relief organization, began working with Laotian villagers who were returning to barren lands after the Vietnam war to rebuild their lives. ZOA’s focus was livelihoods.

12/27/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Building Happy and Healthy Families In Nepal

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FRB's new Nepal-Bhatigachha program seeks to respond to the widespread malnutrition and seasonal hunger among marginalized landless famlies in the Bhatigachha district, by developing sustainablel livelihoods through access to leased land, and training in agricultural production. It is envisioned that this will enable marginalized communities to break out of the cycle of hunger and labour exploitation and improve their families' nutritional status and income by farming for themselves, rather than for landlords. 

08/21/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

EthnoArts in Laos

One of FRB's members, World Renew/CRWRC, shared this video with us. While it does not direcly feature participants of the Laos-Xieng Khouang Program, staff from that program did participate in the workshop and their learning will impact the communities in Xieng Khouang. Mark Fennema, a World Renew staff member in Laos, shared more information on the video:

06/21/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

In Timor Leste, Community Dialogue Strengthens Partnership

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In FRB’s Timor Leste-Viqueque program, community leaders ensure buy-in by encouraging participants to try new techniques and seed varieties, give feedback, and express their views. Among the program’s focuses are making high-yielding corn seed available, teaching appropriate farming technologies, and coming up with effective grain storage to stop post-harvest losses to rats, insects and mold. For example, rather than hanging cobs from trees in the traditional manner, farmers are encouraged to store their grain and seed in airtight containers of various sizes such as plastic, jug-like “jerry cans,” zip-closed polyethylene “Grain Pro bags,” new or recycled drums, or in silos for water-, pest-, and fungal resistance.  No one solution has been perfect: rats have been known to gnaw through the plastic, and they haven’t been able to get the recycled oil drums clean enough even through several washings. But the collective ingenuity of the community is finding solutions to these challenges.

03/06/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Intercropping Corn & Beans Boosts Soil Fertility in Laos

Newsletter: 

Trials by farmers in the northern green highlands of FRB’s Laos-Xieng Khouang program have shown that planting beans in between rows of corn plants is improving the soil and increasing yields.

An increasing population, not enough land, and deteriorating soil fertility have all contributed to local farmers’ worry, “How long will my family be able to survive off this land?” They’ve got clear evidence that beans replace the nitrogen used by corn. By intercropping beans and corn and increasing the overall organic matter in the soil, they’re improving their depleted soils and seeing higher corn yields. 

03/06/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Importance of Community Participation in Reducing Post-Harvest Loss

Nicolao, a farmer in the Timor Leste - Viqueque program, lives with his wife Martinha and their two children. Each year he prepares his soil and plants maize, just like the other farmers in this remote and rural part of the country. Maize is the staple grain for most families here, and Nicolao depends on a good harvest so his family can have enough to eat throughout the year.

Nicolao plants what seeds are available to him, which are not the improved varieties, so he often has low yields when it is time to harvest.  After harvest he stores the grain as best he can, but he still loses between 25% and 30% of his crop each year to mold, rodents, and weevils.  There just is never enough to last throughout the year. Some of his neighbors sell their maize right after harvest. Although the prices are low, they at least receive something for their work instead of watching it rot, or be eaten by rodents.

01/21/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More
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