On 13 February, Johanniter and its local partner Save Cambodia's Wild Life welcomed a group of 13 EU-delegates from the embassies of the United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Finland, Belgium and Poland to visit our joint projects in Kratie and Stung Treng provinces in Cambodia. The aim of the project is to increase the resilience of vulnerable farmers based on integrated agriculture, income generating measures and raising awareness about consequences of climate change on food security. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
It was a very proud moment for SCW to present their first Bee Hive Association in Prek Samann Village to the group where everyone was able to observe the honey being extracted, and even taste it. Instead of selling timber products and exploiting the communitities natural ressources, this activity aims to increase the ability of the whole community to generate an alternative income and diversify their livelihood.
The group also visited the projects biogas digesters, solar pumps and home gardens to observe the integrated approach that this project is applying to improve vulnerable small scale farmers´ adaptability and resilience towards shocks and risks caused by climate change. The Delegates conversed with the residents and expressed their support for the great work that Johanniter and SCW are doing.
Background of Our Activities in Cambodia
More than 80% of the people in Cambodia depend on agriculture for their subsistence, but particularly small-scale farmers in rural regions are highly affected by food insecurity. Beside the significant negative impact of the destruction of natural resources and flooding and drought due to climate change, they are increasingly suffering from the competition pressure of low priced mass production using chemicals. According to their agricultural traditions, most of the small-scale farmers still produce without any adjustment to be more efficient and finally competitive in a sustainable manner. They are lacking knowledge, tools and the supervision of trained personnel. Nine out of ten community member in the project region depend on natural resources, which in the last 5 years have decreased dramatically due to illegal deforestation and industrial fishing. Environmental education and raising awareness of the disastrous consequences of the destruction of natural resources is more essential than ever in order to secure the existence of small-scale farmers in Cambodia.
Improved access to agricultural technologies and improved storage possibilities, the related boost of agricultural production and the improved adaptability will strengthen the resilience of the particularly vulnerable small-scale farmers. By increased awareness in the fields of environment, protection of natural resources and climate change the small-scale farmers can better develop strategies for the reduction of natural resources. An increased awareness of nature and resources protection, health, nutritious food and hygiene contributes to avoid malnutrition and undernourishment. Strengthening vulnerable women and enabling them to generate an own income will contribute to their improved resilience.