Learning the Business of Farming
To earn a living from your farm, growing quality vegetables and fish is just one piece of the puzzle. Other essential pieces are knowing how to run a business and having access to markets. Khaem and her husband now possess all of these pieces and are finally being rewarded for all their hard agricultural work.
They were nearing their sixties when decided to try their hand at farming once their four children married. They did fairly well growing vegetables and raising some livestock, but before they signed up to get small-business training from local partner KADRA, their sales were spotty. There were times when they left crops to rot in the fields because prices had fallen or they had no buyers.
Khaem attended a meeting in 2018 with KADRA’s Community Agricultural Business Advisor, who was there to establish additional farmer groups to participate in agriculture and income-generation projects. She saw there was wisdom in attending all of her farmer group’s meetings, all training on agricultural practices, fish farming, and making fertilizer, and all the farmer-buyer events and networking opportunities. She has regular consultations with the business advisor.
“I’ve learned how to find and contact buyers for my vegetables and fish inside the village and elsewhere. There are four shops in the village, and the owners are my regular buyers. I’ve also got two other buyers outside the village,” says Khaem with pure, unabashed pride.
With good produce, more buyers come! “I never have a hard time selling my produce; the only concern that I may have is not having enough product to supply!” I earn between $7.50 and $12.50 per day, and on holidays or special occasions, I can sell up to $25.00. In the near future, if costs do not rise too badly, I’m going to expand my fish farm to increase my income,” Khaem added.
Khaem has a message for other farmers in her area: “Don’t grow weary of planting. Just roll up your sleeves and keep on sowing seeds. Join us, because there’s a big market out there, and we can’t do it alone. You, too, have a part in supplying the market’s needs.”
Cambodia South Program
Led by World Renew and Local Partners KADRA and OREDA