Husband and wife, Pich Sophal and Sok Chantha have worked hard to make a life for themselves in Sovanna Baitong. Focusing on growing cash crops throughout the year, they’ve managed to steadily increase their income. They’ve taken full advantage of Wildlife Alliance’s Community Agriculture Development Project (CADP), which helps families earn a livable income through training in modern agriculture techniques and marketing, and provides farmers with subsidized tools, irrigation, and seedlings. They cultivate cucumber, tomato, radish, spinach, pumpkin and cashews and earned an average monthly income of USD $165, a significant increase from what they were making before they joined the program.
Not only are they dedicated farmers, but they are both very active community members. Pich Sophal, works in the community as Water Meter Reader, where he records each community member’s water consumption for irrigation. He also makes sure that the irrigation equipment of every lot is always in good working condition and properly kept. Sok Chantha, is a true entrepreneur. Her excellent communication and marketing skills have also made her a natural leader in the community. She serves on the marketing committee of the Agriculture Association and assists the Agricultural Development Committee, where she uses her abilities to help the community strike deals with various market vendors and contacts. In her free time, she also engages in small business ventures, selling rice cakes, fish and vegetables to the village on her new motorcycle. To diversify her income, she has also recently obtained a micro-credit to raise livestock.
Pich Sophal and Sok Chantha have finally been able to escape the vicious cycle of poverty and debt. Their steady income has allowed them to make improvements on their house, acquire a motorcycle and generate savings. Both their children study at the village primary school and the whole family has access to health care. The family has achieved a level of financial success and independence that they never dreamed would be possible when they lived off the forest in Chi Phat.
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Communications and Finance Field Liaison