$47,500 needed of $120,000
World Hope International (WHI)
This project seeks to address the effects of climate change, which are having a major impact on livelihoods in Cambodia. The program helps farmers to maximize available water and produce crops despite unpredictable weather patterns through the use of mushroom grow houses. Farmers work with World Hope International to establish market linkages for their produce. Women are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change in Cambodia because they lack equal access to land, employment and education, so they do not have a safety net to protect against the effects of unexpected weather events and disasters. Therefore, this program is focused on encouraging women to become agri-entrepreneurs. Women are also an important target group as they are more likely to share the financial and nutritional benefits of success with their children. The program also seeks to address the issue of physical and sexual violence against women, which is, unfortunately, common in Cambodia.
Mushrooming Success for Cambodian Farmers
Channy and Chantol, a young Cambodian couple, have seen many changes over the last few years, all thanks to a fungus. They were among the first to adopt mushroom growing when World Hope began working in their village three years ago. “We were skeptical at first, said Channy, “so we just built a small mushroom house to test it out.” After realizing how beneficial mushrooms could be, they built a second, larger structure and their parents built two structures as well.
The couple works hard, and has become skillful mushroom growers. Although they typically average an income of $300 per month, they have earned as much as $1,000 in a month from mushrooms alone. This is especially impressive considering that the GDP per capita in Cambodia is $1,159. On the off days between planting and harvest, Channy sells sugarcane juice for additional income.
As a result of their efforts, the couple has been able to purchase a motorbike, buy land, and build a new house. They are also raising chickens and ducks, and eating higher-quality food now, given their improved income. Their mushroom houses are still behind their parents’ home, but they plan to build additional structures on their own property soon.
Although Channy and Chantol are in many ways model mushroom farmers, their success has not come without challenges. Their parents recently filled in the land in front of their home, so when it rains hard, the water flows downhill into the mushroom house, bringing with it debris that can damage the growing crop. In addition, now that others are also growing mushrooms, the necessary materials (rice straw and mung-bean pods) that were once readily available and free, are becoming very valuable and hard to find.
Cambodia East program
Led by World Hope
3 Communities, 340 Households, 1,700 Individuals