Lorm Salat and her husband, Chor, were the very first pilot farmers to take part in Dana Asia’s Outgrower program, joining the project in December 2018. They live with their two children in Phnom Dei village, some 20km outside Siem Reap town in Cambodia. Due to an accident on a construction site, Chor is wheelchair-bound and largely unable to work, so Salat must take the leading role in earning an income to support the young family.
As is typical of the children from impoverished families in Cambodia, Salat was forced by her family to leave school after Grade 2 to work on the local dumpsite –extremely dirty and dangerous work for such a young child. Salat was still working on the dumpsite when Dana Asia first started operating in her local area, at which point Salat underwent training and came to work at the organisation’s KJC Farm. While Chor helps to support his family by fixing bicycles and other small jobs at home, prior to becoming Outgrower farmers, the couple’s monthly income was a mere US$120 between them. When asked why she wanted to become an Outgrower farmer, Salat stated that wanted to seize the opportunity to earn more income, saying: “Sometimes, it is a struggle to buy rice and support my children’s education”.
When the Outgrower program launched in December 2018, Salat was the top choice to be the first pilot farmer. A shed was built on the family’s land, purpose-built to enable Chor to work and help care for the chickens, despite his disability. As of May 2021, Salat and Chor have now successfully taken care of seven batches of chickens and earn an average income of US$235 per batch.
For a family living in poverty like Salat’s, the impact of this additional income is substantial and even life-changing: it can make the difference between a family being able to educate a child at school, or not, or being able to afford food and vital medication for sick family members, or not…