In Cambodia we have a five-year programme which supports indigenous people to improve their farming techniques, adapt their crops to a changing climate, and protect their forests against illegal logging.
Promoting Security, Resilience and Economic Development of Indigenous Communities in Cambodia
We have worked closely with our Cambodian partner Development and Partnership in Action (DPA) since 2005, and we are currently working with them to organise small-scale farmers' groups and cooperatives in 36 provincial villages in north-east Cambodia.
Farmers are being assisted to improve the quality and quantity of their crops, ensuring a steady supply of rice and vegetables for family consumption or sale. Some of the larger cooperatives have been assisted to buy rice milling machines, which allow them to add value to their raw produce. Members of one cooperative estimate that this alone has saved them more than $13,000 during the last year.
Working together in small groups, farmers can create a more efficient system of sales and distribution of their products, and they can bargain for better prices on the open market. Provision of irrigation equipment is ensuring that increasingly frequent droughts do not wipe out food supplies and potential income-earning opportunities.
Illegal logging and land grabbing are becoming more common in Cambodia, and are depriving local indigenous communities of their customary land and a means to a dignified livelihood. Our project is helping indigenous communities to secure legal land titles for their customary land, which creates a huge disincentive for illegal activity.