Lot 99, located in Phase I of the Sovanna Baitong village, home to our Community Agriculture Development Project, is a constantly buzzing family farm. Husband and wife, Pok Yut and Tean Sokha, moved to Sovanna Baitong in 2004, just at Phase I was getting up and running. Their plot has a variety of crops growing throughout all three growing cycles. October and November constitute the first two months of Cycle 1, a four-month long growing cycle during the dry season. This year, Yut and Sokha planted sweet potato, long beans, cucumber, wax gourd, and rice. Through their harvest as well as the sale of some chickens, their income was more than $200 in just two months. The goal income per family per month is set at $40—Yut and Sokha have surpassed that, despite the poorer growing conditions in the dry season.
They have been dedicated farmers from the outset but, more importantly they have always had a dream for their family of seven—to build a big to live in. When they came to Sovanna Baitong, they brought their small chamka (traditional hut made of wood and aluminum) and set it up on the 1.5 hectares of land provided to them through the project. Year and after year, they saved a portion of their income from the sale of produce and other agricultural products from their farm. In 2011, they were finally able to realize their dream and recently completed construction on their big house. Their original chamka remains a fixture on their plot—a constant reminder of what they have been able to achieve since leaving the forest and becoming sustainable, family farmers in Sovanna Baitong.
Three of their five children still attend school. Sokha is an active member of the Education Service Group of the Community Agriculture Association. The choice they made to come to Sovanna Baitong and the hard work they have put in since their arrival has resulted in the support of and involvement in their community, a better life for their family, and a better future for their children.