My monthly income now is equal to my annual income in the past, says Cambodian farmer
With chickens running and fighting for food all around her, Ms. Yem Sohkom, a farmer in Kampong Chhang, Cambodia, proudly explains how her chickens have doubled in number thanks to techniques taught by People in Need Cambodia and Phnom Neang Kangrei Association. Knowing that the techniques work, Sokhom wants to triple her chickens in the coming year.
Sokhom explained with the smile that the new techniques have been very effective but also required more care for the hens and chickens. “Before I had just a few hens and chickens. After I applied the method, now I have more than a hundred chickens. Next year I may not have place for my chickens,” said Sokhom.
But it is not only about improved techniques that have helped Sokhom and her chickens. More than 90% of Cambodian farmers raise livestock and it is a critical source of income and nutrition for them. However there are many animals that die unnecessarily due to treatable diseases. This is why the EU and Czech Development Agency funded action focuses on improving the whole value chain and the connection of farmers with vets and traders. Better raising techniques together with better veterinary services, vaccinations and marketing opportunities, means higher number of livestock raised and increased incomes for farmers like Sokhom.
Like the other women in her community, Sokhom raised a few chickens just for sale on occasions such as the Chinese New Year. It was not her main source of income but she was looking for an opportunity to make more money when she was introduced to the new raising techniques. That opportunity paid off now as she can dramatically increase her income. “My monthly income now is equal to my annual income in the past,” said Sokhom.
And Sokhom isn’t stopping anytime soon, looking to help her community get involved. Next year, Sokhom plans to expand the chicken farm to accommodate with the growing number of the hens and chickens. “I am also looking for better opportunity to transfer the knowledge to neighbors and relatives if they are interested,” she explains.
Sokhom is one of thousands of farmers who benefited from the Community Livestock Market Development (CLIMAD) project and it’s approach.
“The market linkages that the project has supported have been having a real impact on farmers’ access to crucial inputs and services, that previously did not exist or we’re very difficult to access. This has enabled both farmers and service providers to substantially increase their livestock related incomes,” says Julien Brewster, People in Need Livelihood and Environment program manager. This is also the situation of supported vets and vet shops who have now improved their services and are providing valuable consultations to farmers in communities.