Project story - Ms Sokun Long

Live & Learn is working with floating and flood affected communities to combine agricultural and sanitation systems, a novel approach to support both health and food production outcomes.

Sokhon (pictured above) is a 32 year-old woman from the drought and flood prone area of Pursat Province in Western Cambodia, and an enthusiastic participant of Live & Learn’s Innovation Project, which is funded by AusAID through Assisi Aid Projects. Sokhon volunteered as a farmer collaborator with Live & Learn, to provide an inspiring example and create a ‘demonstration farm’ for her community.

Increased income from vegetable sales
Before the project, Sokhon’s family faced many livelihood challenges, their combined income was inadequate to meet even the basic needs of their large family, and they often suffered from food shortages.  Through her hard work and the application of skills and knowledge gained through the project, Sokhon has increased the output from her small food plot, enabling her to meet the daily food needs of her 10 family-member household and to increase their income from vegetable sales by 25 times!

New agricultural skills, knowledge and inputs
The project has brought Sokhon new and practical knowledge in many areas of small-scale agricultural practice such as; techniques for growing vegetables in drought and flood affected areas (SMART agricultural techniques), how to make compost, botanical pesticides, and bio-char, and techniques for raising chickens, pigs, and fish.

Sokhon’s neighbours were actively involved in building and preparing the demonstration farm, thereby ‘learning through practice’. In exchange for her commitment to implement her new knowledge and share the practice with her village, the project supplied Sokhon with material inputs such as chickens, seeds, bags for growing vegetables, a water pumping system and a biodigester system.

Biodigester for cooking sustainable fuel
Sokhon is particularly pleased with the biodigester system that is powered by animal waste, and which produces enough gas for cooking and boiling water for her large 10 member family. She said, “The biodigester system reduces firewood usage and saves us a lot of time from having to find firewood. Now we take only 10 minutes a day to collect 25 kg of cow dung or pig waste to put into biodigester tank!”