Famous for its disputed temple, the province of Preah Viehear has recently received a large road system upgrade. This area use to be mainly inhabited by ethnic minority called the Kouy. There still are Pre-Angkorian villages and prehistoric sites in this area. The new road gives a new life to many people in the area. It brings new opportunities for many poor farmers to better access the market.
Right: Rasmey took this picture as she wanted to show others this daily ritual, underlining the importance of a good education.
Rath rasmey (44 years old) is a mother of three – she recently bought 3 hectares of land. Most of it is still forested and they are clearing it gradually to expand their farm-land.
An important part of their success comes for the pond and the well on their land. People have taken the habit to come get water here (for free). Now when they come to collect water, they also take a look at the demo pig farm and this raises their interest to join the farmers groups: the pigs are so big that people are really impressed.
The first thing Rasmey did when her first pig was ready for the sale, was to buy a motorbike. This has helped her to better her lifestyle in many ways. She even has a bank account in Acleda bank since 2008, where she can safe-keep the budgets she handles. They now have two mature pig females and a young male. The first one is going to give birth in three months, and this will be the start of income generation for them.
Right: The water ‘spot’ for many villagers is next to Saoly’s house, increasing opportunities to expose them to the farmer groups and its benefits.
The second part of Rasmey’s success is that she is highly social: she is part of at least four groups: the farmers group, the Malaria group, the Hygiene and Health group and a Resin collectors group. With this combination, many villagers recognise her and come to see her to ask for her ideas and help. She is always happy to give good advise. This social networking has helped her better handle her market situation.
The income from the rice is not enough for the family as they have to rent land and it reduces their income on the crops. Her husband goes to collect resin once a week. They have a cane sugar machine and sell juice by the road side.
Rath has many things going at the same time to make ends meet. She is part of a resin-collecting group – they receive 1500usd between seven people to collect resin for two years. She says this group is much more difficult because there are always issues when there are seven people to share. In the end, she makes only 300000 riels (75usd) from this over 2 years. She says that other funds also are available to her but none beat the ease of efficiency of IFAD. She can use the money more independently and has found this to be of great help.
Left: Rasmey’s water pond, visited by (left to right) Mr Chea Sokhun (extension worker) Mr Rithyvuth – a contributor to the COSOP online documentation and author of the video interviews and Mr Sophy Gneth of the Provincial Agriculture Department.
Rasmey grabs all the opportunities she has: when the road company came to build the road, they paid 50usd to the driver of an excavator to dig a fishpond. She is now very eager to learn about fish breeding.