Reaping the rewards

StarKids is helping farmers in Cambodia unite to earn more income

Ravy and her family have always worked hard on their land. But now they are finally reaping the rewards.

They have been farming for many years, earning around AU$300 on average per year from selling their produce.

But thanks to a business development project in Cambodia, supported by StarKids, they now earn three times that amount.

“I had no idea what to grow on the land before. I just wanted to follow the traditional style,” explained Ravy.

Before, they grew just two crop varieties: green beans and chillies. After learning new farming techniques and receiving support to plant new crop varieties, their farm is bursting with long beans, cucumbers, eggplants, spinach, melons and pumpkins. They have also planted 200 fruit trees on their land.

Ravy and her husband are among thousands of farmers across nine provinces in Cambodia who are learning how to improve their production and work together in farmer co-ops so they can increase their incomes and give their children a better life.

Co-op members learn business skills and also how to process their raw produce into products such as fruit juice that they can sell for a higher price. In 2015, this project supported 92 farmer co-ops with over 16,000 members in total.

Local World Vision worker Lum Orng says one of the most exciting things about this project is how it brings neighbours together to boost production and sell their produce collectively.

“I am excited to see these changes in the community,” he says.

NB: This project is also supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Image: Ravy shared her farming success story with Jetstar Australia and New Zealand CEO David Hall during his recent trip with StarKids to Cambodia.