FARMING & ENVIRONMENT
Agriculture in Cambodia still represents a major part of the economy. As a pretext for productivity concerning exports, agrochemical companies take advantage of the country’s peasants. The environment is largely sacrificed to economic growth: deforestation, overexploitation of fisheries, massive use of pesticides, absence of a waste and wastewater treatment system... However, people are aware of the damages created by this system, especially in the countryside where rice farmers are very dependent on the environment. After three consecutive years of poor harvests leading to significant migratory movement, the population of the region is starting to become conscious of the challenges of climate change on the cultivation of rice. A consciousness that motivates the association to act alongside the youth, by the means of an organic garden, based on the concept of permaculture; thus towards a new form of agriculture in Cambodia.
Our goal is to question children and their families about their impact on the environment and sensitize them to the new challenges of biological agriculture, healthy food and waste management. Little by little, awareness is spreading and efforts are being made every day a little bit more!
PROMOTION OF A DIVERSIFIED AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
Agriculture in Cambodia is traditionally centered on rice, supplemented by fishing and small vegetables and fruit tree plantations. Agriculture remains very extensive, but in some regions, the intensification of fishing and the use of fertilizers and pesticides have had dramatic consequences on the resources and the health of the populations. All the partners (NGOs and local authorities) working on rural development issues in Cambodia are unanimous in promoting food security through agricultural diversification.
The association’s children learn rice cultivation from an early age by participating in agricultural work on the 6.5 hectare rice fields that the we have. Like most Cambodian children, they eat the rice that they themselves helped produce. The association’s children also manage a small organic vegetable garden where they learn alternative techniques for the use of fertilizers and pesticides: compost, use of ashes, water management, etc. It also allows them to discover agricultural techniques that diversify a diet essentially based on rice: vegetable gardening, mushroom growing, and fruit tree growing. In 2018, the association and the French Boy and Girl Scouts joined forces around an ambitious project: the organic garden built with the expertise of the OrganiKh experimental farm, the French Scouts and the association’s children.
PROMOTION OF RENEWABLE ENERGIES AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
The association promotes renewable energies and their environmental benefits. For example, the association made possible for low-income families to buy low-cost solar lighting in 2014. Solar panels were also set up at the association to power a part of the office’s computers. Since 2014, the association has also insisted on environmental protection and waste management. Awareness sessions are regularly set up and the Foyer promotes waste management on its site (recycling bins, a partnership with a waste management company, etc.). In 2018, a waste collection system was set up with a local private company and we condemned the association’s incinerators.