Most of villagers in Prasat village are engaged in agricultural activities for their livelihood. The agricultural land has some irrigation facilities but most of the farmers are heavily dependent on the rainfall for agricultural production. Their crop production is quite erratic. In 2014, the Peace and Development Aid Organization (PDAO) received fund from “Oxfam” for implementing a project over nine months with the project title’ “Engaging women led Self Help Groups with Local Government through Disaster Risk Reduction Planning and Capacity Development”. This project was also linked with and follows on from the project that PDAO received funds for from Australian Aid – DFAT Grant in 2013 over a period of three year to implement the project “Women Empowerment and Holistic Communities’ Development through Socio-Economic Improvement”
PDAO in cooperation with local authorities conducted public meeting to present the purpose of the project to the community members. Through the public meeting Mrs. Samrith Ol and her husand Mr. Nop Thy became interested in the project and got involved in the project at that time.
Mrs. Samrith Ol who is sixty years old and Mr. Nop Thy who is fifty-one years old, have four sons and one daughter and all of their sons and daughter have married and left to live with their family. Therefore only Mrs. Samrith Ol lives with her husband in Prasat village, Krang Leav commune, Bati district, Takeo province.
Before Participation in the project
Before they participated in the project they had only one source of income, her husband earned money by working off- farm as laborer and as a worker in rice production activities. Their family is in category Poor 1 (P1), they have no agricultural land to grow rice. They have a land area of 300 square meters (30 meter x 10 meter), which is available only for their small house and some space for poultry raising. The income her husband earned from being a laborer was not enough for daily family livelihood and they were always facing difficulties. Sometime they argued about divorce between her and her husband because her husband liked to drink alcohol and gamble with his friends and sometime he played until midnight.
After Participation in the Project
SUPPORTING AND TRAINING
After Mrs. Samrith Ol and Mr Nop Thy joined the project their family was supported with the amount of money 200 USD to buy chickens, materials for chicken raising house construction, and to buy some chicken food. They also received trainings on agricultural technical skills such as chicken raising, vegetable growing and keeping savings
After participating in the project and received training, Mrs. Samrith Ol and Mr Nop Thy have improved their knowledge and skills on some technical aspects of agriculture such as chicken raising, vegetable growing, climate resilient agriculture, Land Area Maximum Production (LAMP), saving schemes and so on. Her husband reduced his time working as laborer outside and changed from a laborer to a producer by applying some agricultural technique in chicken raising. Before the project intervention their chicken raising was only for food and they knew few techniques related to poultry and livestock raising.
Now Mrs. Samrith Ol and her husband use their technical knowledge and installed a chicken raising house, use natural feed ,use natural medicine and vaccine themselves. So, they have been able to generate income from increased opportunities to improve poultry production for chicken raising and selling. They earned income from chicken selling of around 150,000riel (U$40) to 250,000riel (U$60) per month by selling small chicken and adult chicken and they also earned from selling water lily and morning glory which they collected from the community lake near their house. They could earn from selling water lily 20,000 riel (U$5) to 25,000 (U$6) riel per day. Her family has a seen a lot of good changes, especially her husband. Mr. Nop Thy, her husband said that “Before I like to drink alcohol and gamble with my friends and did not think about my family livelihood. And when I was gambling the police caught me and from that day I given up gambling and I tried to raise chicken at home and have a few chickens and raise them only for food. But when PDAO gave us some money so that we could buy some materials for preparing chicken raising house and we are making chicken feed by using rice, morning glory, and we buy some chicken feed from the market to mix with natural food for my chicken. Actually, now we have 3 cocks, 8 hens, and over 100 small and adult chickens”.
According to participating in the project, Self Help Group (SHG), saving group, chicken raising and income generation activities their family livelihood is better. They have money to buy rice and other things for family support and they also have their own motorbike and are involved in social activities in their community with dignity.
In addition, Mrs. Samrith Ol, is very happy with the results of changes in her family life, especially her husband, because she observed that before her husband was involved in the project he like to drinks alcohol, gamble with his friends and he does not care about family income but after he got involved in the project he has changed everything, and helps her to earn income to support their family. Mrs. Samrith Ol, said that:
“When I participated in the trainings, meetings and I can explain to my husband then he understood and he stopped gambling, stopped drinking alcohol as much like before and he tried to raise chicken from a few chicken to a lot chicken until now. He like his chickens so much, day to day he always stayed at home to raise and care for his chicken”
Her family situation and livelihood is much better than before. She even got respect and value from her neighbors and other in the villages. Now they work for themselves and have reduced selling their labors outside.