Cambodia: We Are Providing Agricultural Assistance in the Flood-Affected Areas

February 13th, 2012- Noriyasu OKAYAMA (left) of AAR JAPAN hands a set of vegetable seeds and gardening tools to a family affected by the floods. (Siem Reap Province)

In response to the massive flooding that occurred in Cambodia between the summer and fall of 2011, AAR JAPAN dispatched Noriyasu OKAYAMA and Tomoko SONODA who distributed food and non-food emergency relief items in the flood-affected areas from November 2011 to January 2012. During the 2 months, AAR JAPAN was able to reach out to a total of 3,000 families in the most affected villages in the suburban area of the nation’s capital Phnom Penh, as well as parts of Siem Reap Province and Kampong Thom Province. Although the floodwaters subsided at the end of last year and direct damage was no longer anticipated, rice crop that were planned to be harvested during November and December had been completely destroyed, and many of the farmers of the villages also lost their vegetables and livestock. Those affected by the disaster still face challenges, as many are in debt in order to survive day to day.

With the mission to assist their early livelihood recovery, we are currently distributing vegetable seeds and gardening tools to the disaster victims, along with the provision of agricultural training. Targeting 840 households in 6 areas within Siem Reap Province, we have been delivering seeds of vegetables that can be grown and harvested in 1 to 2 months including morning glory, pak choy, and cucumber. Additionally, we conduct agricultural training to give instructions to the beneficiaries on how to efficiently and effectively grow the crops. Upon harvest, the vegetables can be consumed as immediate food supply and also be sold for income. The trainees have been participating in the training with their utmost eagerness.
We plan to continue this project until the middle of April in the effort to support those affected by the flood regain and reconstruct their normal livelihood.

* This project was made possible thanks to a grant provided by Japan Platform in addition to generous individual donations.
February 6th, 2012- At the training, the trainees learn about effective farming techniques like how to make a seedbed and properly use fertilizer. (Siem Reap Province)
February 9th, 2012- The participants receive hands-on training on the field. In the picture, they are preparing to sow the seeds. (Siem Reap Province)
February 7th, 2012- Ms. Oun MOA (61 years old) received the seeds and tools and participated in the training. Her rice patty and vegetable field were inundated, which caused her to lose all of her crops, and her livestock also died in the floods. “I’ve slowly begun to replant some vegetables, but I haven’t harvested enough to sell. Our daily food supply is also not enough,” she said. (Siem Reap Province)
March 5th, 2012- Sponge gourd and wax gourd seeds have started to grow inside the handmade seedling pots. On the right is Tomoko SONODA of AAR JAPAN. (Siem Reap Province)

Tomoko SONODA, AAR JAPAN Tokyo office
SONODA joined the Overseas Department at AAR JAPAN’s Tokyo office in May, 2011. After graduating from university, she worked at an overseas agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and later received a graduate degree in Education and Development in the United Kingdom. Before joining AAR JAPAN, SONODA spent 2 years in Cambodia as a Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer where she dealt with school management in the context of a developing country.