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This International Women’s Day (March 8th) we’re celebrating some of the strong women who work alongside us to provide healthy, clean and local vegetables to Cambodia.

In Cambodia women farmers usually own less land. They receive less extension services like trainings and as in many countries there is a big gap between men and women regarding domestic work. Women are in charge of the house and of the unpaid tasks. While 20% of women do not participate at all in major household decisions.

Nevertheless empowering rural women is key in poverty reduction in developing countries:

  • It increases productivity,
  • It improves general rural livelihoods,
  • It decreases hunger & malnutrition even more than programs offering better access to food.

Chunn Now, a successful farmer working with her daughter.

Chunn Now (right on the picture) has been a farmer for over 10 years. Like many women she takes on multiple roles in the households. She takes care of the farm, of the house and of her grandchildren. She started working with Project Alba around 8 months ago and is already among our top farmers. She works the farm with her daughter after her husband became sick and she would eventually like to hand the farm on to her daughter and her future children (left on the picture).
          “ I can do anything as well as a man can”.

Becoming a farmer allowed her to earn her own money, and now that she partnered with Project Alba she makes even more! While laughing she explained to us what she likes about working with us: “Loy!” (money). Before she wondered “How much am I going to sell today”. She no longer worries as Project Alba commits to buying her whole production. Plus now she has plenty of vegetables feed her family with healthy food.

Soem Sinan, a a lifelong farmer

Soem Sinan has been a farmer for 26 years and joined Project Alba five months ago. She is just one of the the 74% of women employed in agriculture in Cambodia.

          “I can do everything by myself and I do everything”

She sees no differences in what she can do on the field and what men are able to do. Her experience she says shows that women are capable of the same job.

Soem Sinan tells us that being a farmer enables her to provide food for her family, to do exercise as she harvests her crops and make more money. Thanks to her hard work she’s making more money, more often and is able to support her daughters studies.

Others farmers in her village will often come to visit her field so she can share her wealth of experience with - she’s a real leader in the community.

If her results keep being as good as now she wants to stay a farmer and work for Project Alba forever.

In Phann, a grateful farmer.

“I’m able to build my own house”

In Phann said working with Project Alba is helping her change her life. She has learned how to grow a variety of different crops and she is getting regular income for the first time. Now she is able to go to the festivals in the villages, a huge part of Cambodian traditional life, which she couldn’t do before before and that made her really happy. But the biggest impact is she is now building a concrete house!

In Phann is also part of a savings co-operative in her village which helps her pay for things for her children and grandchildren. She said she’s so happy now that she doesn’t have to worry so much!

Hem Phoeun, a farmer who make the most of the least.

Hem Phoeun works by alone on her small plot and is already having excellent results! It’s hard work for her, as well as managing the field she does 90 % of the work in the household but she’s pleased that she’s able to save money by working with Project Alba and is able to feed herself and her family.

Lim - first woman agent.

Our field agents are our direct and vitally important link to farmers. Lim became our first and only woman agent so far (not for long...we’ll keep you updated on that news!). Since the beginning she is having brilliantresults with farmers .

“ I really like to work with farmers, because this job can improve work conditions and income of poor farmers”.

Lim is proud of her job because her farmers can get good results and a better income.

This is important to her also because it improves her knowledge on vegetables and experience with farmers. She feels happy for the farmers as they can work close to their home, it avoids them to work in factories far away from their house, with Project Alba they can actually generate more income to support their family.

“I feel really excited as a woman in this job, because I can do a hard job as men can do”.

Project Alba is committed to empowering women farmers and employees. Together we’re striving towards gender equality for all. Let’s celebrate all women working in agriculture this #IWD2018

Marion Vieira, 08th March 2018