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How Agricultural Innovations Help Feed the Future In Cambodia

I started working in Cambodia five years
ago I got a scholarship to apply my disciplinary training in a developing
country our team originally had the idea to introduce low row covers to Cambodian
farmers as a way to protect crops from insects and after working with farmers
to adapt this technology to something that fit their needs then we came up
with a new design that was a net house which was a structure that farmers could
stand up and walk in and perform all the same cultivation practices that they
normally would. Net houses are really helpful for farmers because they act as
a barrier to protect crops from insect damage this is a way that farmers can
reduce pesticide use which saves them money it also allows them to produce
higher quality crops that don’t have insect damage and they get a better
price at the markets in here now the farmers, they are very happy with the net houses, with the production that they have seen a lot of change not just only this area
that we have been working here with the farmers, but the whole of Cambodia, we can see
the great change of the safe vegetable production. (speaking in Khmer: It increases the level of livelihood and the level of awareness of safe vegetables in the community) (speaking in Khmer: Before the nethouse, my family had an average income and were unable to send our children to university. My first son ended up only being able to graduate from high school. But now with the nethouse, my daughter and my third child will be able to go to university … Our team was looking for a way that farmers could aggregate their products
and so we worked with them to develop a packing
house the packing house is a place where farmers can bring their products from
the community into a central location this helps them better market their
products collectively and it’s a place where they can perform some post harvest
processing so they can do washing and packaging and preparing the products for
market. We introduced a cooling system that
could use a regular air conditioner to cool a room to refrigerated temperatures
and could be incorporated into the packing house as a way to reduce post-harvest
loss and extend the shelf life of their products (speaking in Khmer: We get more returns than before, more than when we used to farm in open fields This is a place that helps the entire community, so they can bring the vegetables here to be sold we’ve seen such a change in the food
system Cambodians are increasingly concerned about their health and they’re
looking to purchase safe, high-quality vegetables they’re looking to improve
their nutritional intake so we see a lot of specialty markets that specialize in
particularly selling safe vegetables safe fruits in the near future even the
government they also have put the policy to introduce and the packinghouse not
just only in this province but the whole of cambodia they plan to have like at least
one in each community (speaking in Khmer: This year, I’ve expanded by adding another 1600 square meter farm I’ll set up another nethouse and this growth will continue. this road where I am standing now used to be all muddy. but after I got membership in the farmer group and started growing vegetables, now I have money, and I had a line of village road built in front of my the impact of
these innovations in Cambodia has been huge it has helped farmers increase
their income which allows them to send their kids to school build new homes
build new roads for their communities when we see people who are so excited
because they’re able to buy better quality food for their families with
students that I work with at the University to see them growing and
changing and learning to see the impact on farmers and their livelihoods and the
livelihoods of their family it’s really exciting it really makes it all worth it

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