Cambodia: Vegetables Are Growing in Flood-Affected Areas

We have Distributed Vegetable Seeds and Provided Agricultural Training

February 14th, 2012- We distributed vegetable seeds and complimentary items such fertilizer and gardening tools to the floods victims. (Chreav Commune, Siem Reap)

In response to the massive flooding that struck Cambodia last year, AAR JAPAN distributed food and non-food items to 3,000 households in the disaster-affected areas. In continuation, we have been carrying out an agricultural assistance project targeting 840 households in the same areas. By distributing vegetable seeds that can be harvested relatively quickly such as sponge gourd, morning glory, and long beans, as well as gardening equipment such as hoes, watering cans, insect-proof nets, fertilizer, and pesticide, our objective is to support those who had lost their harvest in the floods restart farming again. Furthermore, in collaboration with agricultural trainers from local NGO “HURREDO,” we have also conducted a hands-on training program to give instructions on modern farming techniques including how to prepare a seedbed, use fertilizer, build poles, protect the vegetables from insects, and properly water the plants.

“We lost our harvest in the floods and couldn’t pay our children’s school fees.”

March 12th, 2012- Mr. Mounn Po’s wife showed us their eggplant buds that were starting to sprout.

In Sambour Commune of Siem Reap where Mr. Mounn Po (male, 39 years old) lives, the floods continued between September and November of last year. The floodwater level around his rice field reached 1.2m, and the rice crop that would have been harvested during the rainy season was completely damaged. His vegetable garden was also inundated and he lost his source of income as a result. During this period, he was unable to pay his children’s school fees, which prevented them from attending school. Moreover, he was constantly fearful that his youngest child would fall in the water.

In February, Mr. Mounn Po participated in the 2-day agricultural training program supported by AAR JAPAN. He is currently growing the vegetable seeds (morning glory, pak choy, cucumber, wax gourd, sponge gourd, long beans, and eggplant) that he had received at the training along with a set of gardening tools. On March 12th, staff members of AAR JAPAN and HURREDO trainers visited Mr. Po’s home to monitor the growth of the vegetables, and also provided advice regarding how to fight off pests, use fertilizer, and so on.

Vegetables Successfully Harvested Yield Income

March 30th, 2012- Mr. Mounn Po and his wife stand next to a maturing sponge gourd.

On March 30th, we visited Mr. Mounn Po’s home again and discovered that he had harvested and sold 30kg of morning glory. He told us that he used a part of his earning to pay his children’s school fees. We were also able to see that the other vegetables were growing very well. He told us, “Before, it used to take about a month for morning glory to reach harvest time, but now it’s been reduced to about half a month. It must be the fertilizer.” Through our assistance, we are hoping that those affected by the floods are able to regain and reconstruct their livelihood.

March 30th, 2012- Mr. and Mrs. Mounn Po with Yuichiro YAMAMOTO (left) of Tokyo Headquarters Office. Pictured in front of them is a row of wax gourd.
February 17th, 2012- During the agricultural training session, the trainer from HURREDO (back center) gives a seminar and hands-on training on the latest farming techniques. (Sambour Commune, Siem Reap)
March 27th, 2012- We have been making home visits of those who participated in the training to monitor the growth of their vegetables. Pictured on the far left is Tomoko SONODA of Tokyo Headquarters Office and to her right is a HURREDO trainer. (Chreav Commune, Siem Reap)
March 27th, 2012- How big will this sponge gourd get? (Chreav Commune, Siem Reap)

*This project was made possible thanks to a grant provided by Japan Platform in addition to generous individual donations.

Yuichiro YAMAMOTO, AAR JAPAN Tokyo office
Joined AAR JAPAN’s Tokyo office in November, 2011. After graduating from a university in the USA and completing a master’s degree in the UK, worked as an educational consultant in Indonesia. Joined AAR JAPAN in the hopes to take part in the Great East Japan Earthquake recovery.