This is Let Penh. She is 49 years old and lives with her husband in Trapang Thom village, around 20km from Siem Reap town. Prior to joining the Outgrower project, Ms. Penh and her husband found work on the local dumpsite collecting plastic, cans, metal and other items they could sell for recycling. Between them, they were able to earn around 1160 AUD per year. On such a low income they lived very much hand-to-mouth and had no funds to cover unforeseen expenses such as medical costs in case of sickness or injury.
Ms. Penh was introduced to the Outgrower project when the project team went to the dumpsite to speak to workers about the opportunities for training on KJC Farm. She was immediately interested in joining to learn new skills and to gain a second income stream to alleviate some of the financial pressure on the family.
In September 2020, construction of an Outgrower shed began on her land and she began the comprehensive training program on KJC Farm. She passed the training with flying colours and was given her first batch of 250 chicks at the end of November 2020. With close monitoring and support from the Outgrower team, Ms. Penh was achieved excellent results with her first batch of chicks. Her attentiveness to biosecurity and careful flock monitoring meant only 8 chickens died before they reached maturity, meaning a good number were available for sale to the local market. At the end of the 80-day cycle, Ms. Penh achieved a net income of 350 USD. The extra income she earns on the Outgrower project goes towards essential healthcare for her and her husband.
She is a shining example of how the model can really work and really make a long-term difference in people’s lives. We hope she will become a mentor for Outgrower farmers in the future to inspire more individuals and scale the project’s impact.