A Story of Soybean Farmer
Mr. Koy Tho, 53, is the deputy village chief in Teun village, Teun commune, Koun Mom district. Besides serving the public service in the village, Mr. Koy Tho also helps his family in the agriculture activities. Like many other villagers, soybean, cassava and rice are the main crops and sources of income for his family. Over the past several years, living in this village had become harder and harder due to a steadily decrease in income sources as they had been facing with lose of crop yield because of climate change which caused unpredictable rainfall and drought.
For traditional agriculture, Tho and other villagers cannot find any solution to adapt to this
change of climate condition which really had a great impact on their farms. In 2016, Mr. Tho lost soybean yield because of unexpected rainfall during the harvesting period; all the soybean grains were wet and swell. Not only this, lack of proper insect management, fertility management, and seed quality also played a big part in Tho and other villagers’ cases.
Seeing this problem, in 2016, CARE Cambodia and CEDAC conducted a meeting with Community members, village leader/village chief, and village elders to select the volunteer farmers to promote Agro-Climate Information System(ACIS) activities in Tho’s village with purpose of improving the livelihood of this village. Mr. Tho was elected by the community members to become champion farmer in his village as they believed that Tho was very active in their village so far.
After joining with ACIS, Tho and all champion farmers from different villages have been provided capacity building related to local forecast, agro-advisories, agriculture technique and many other new techniques. These capacity buildings are necessary for Tho and others to adapt themselves and their agricultural activities to climate change.
In 2017, Mr. Tho received 14 days weather forecast from the project and he used this information for soybean planting. Now all the champion farmers know clearly about when to plan, when to apply pesticide and when to harvest. After applying what he has learnt, his soybean increased from 3,200kg to 4,500kg on his 1.08 hectares farming land. Tho and other were so impressed that the weather condition is a very important factor in agriculture in all stages starting from planting to harvesting.
In 2018, by seeing the increase yield of soybean, Mr. Tho increased land for planting soybean to 8 hectares and applied around 80% of agro-advisories. By now, he is very happy with good result of soybean farming and he hopes that he will get more income from the soybean this year.
Not only using what he learnt from the training in his agricultural activities, Tho also applied knowledge from the project for his family and community as well including Gender analysis, gender role and women empowerment which are very crucial in gender empower and equality in the whole community.
Besides this, Tho actively shared the knowledge and experiences that he got from the project to other farmers in the village. Also, he is responsible to disseminate the agro-advisories and 14 days forecast through the village meetings and loudspeakers in his village. Not only this, he also advocates the gender empowerment in his village. He strongly believes that his village will be prosperous again in the short coming future due to the change of their agricultural style and the way villagers look at gender empowerment.
These activities are part of the Enhancing adaptive capacity of women and ethnic minority smallholder farmers through improved Agro-Climate Information Systems in South-East Asia, which is funded by the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security and Fondation Ensemble.