Agriculture - Sustainable Agriculture
The Sustainable Agriculture programmes administered through Older People’s Associations (OPA) empower local farmers using low-cost, environmentally-friendly and organic farming practices.Around 80% of the population in Cambodia make a living from small-scaled, manual agricultural practices.HelpAge’s target area, northwest Cambodia, has fertile land and climate conditions to produce rice, vegetables and tropical fruits.
In 2012, 15 OPA members in Banan district, Battambang, received training in organic and pesticide-free agricultural techniques for private gardening supported by HelpAge. They generate income from their excess produce of bitter gourd, cucumbers and herbal teas that are sold at local markets.
Rice and Seeds
Since 2012, HelpAge had supplied 14 OPAs with a hand tractor for communal farming use. In 2014, HelpAge had provided 15 more hand tractors to five OPA Federations to enhance their agricultural and income generation activities. The OPA Federation maintains and manages the use of the hand tractor so that all OPAs can access it, renting at a low fee.
Hand tractors assist farmers to produce more profitable and greater crop harvests to secure their income. The hand tractor rental fee covers the costs of other OPA programmes that improve the lives of vulnerable and poor older community members.
“Before our community received the hand tractor, poor older farmers like me couldn’t afford to rent a hand tractor. Now that we have one for ourselves, over 40 families can access it at a low cost. This reduces our poverty and means we can spend more on our families. We hope to keep using the hand tractor in our community for a long time.”Voeung, aged 64, Battambang.