With the enormous amount of vegetables produced by Cambodians daily, Cambodia still needs more tons of vegetables to supply the population. According to KhmerTimes, 540 tons of vegetables are needed in Cambodia to meet the demand, however, Cambodia can only make 400 tons for the country. Based on this statistical fact, it demonstrates that tons of vegetables are being imported.
This was the root of why Household Garden Exploration created. Our ambition was to inspire some rural Cambodians to have their own fresh, organic vegetable gardens at home, instead of buying invalidated vegetables from the market. In addition, those vegetables that aren’t being ensured, are mostly produced with chemical fertilizer and pesticide in which the process could severely affect the health of the daily consumers as well as the producers. With this being said, a variety of organizations and projects are helping with the mission of encouraging farmers and households to grow more organic products to their needs.
To achieve the above ambition, our team in this exploration went to different trips such as farms and research stations, conducted interviews to be able to observe and aware more on the current situation of vegetable plantation, type of vegetables that suitable for household garden, the process of creating organic fertilizer and pesticide, as well as the process of making compost.
One of the best experiences, we visited Saange District, which is one of the heartland areas of vegetable farming that stretch hugely across the district’s land. Our ultimate goal was to understand the farmer’s lives and their farming practices. After the interviews, it shows that all of the farmers use chemical fertilizers because the process isn’t time-consuming and much more convenient. This result made our team a bit discourage, however, I hope that farmer’s mindsets will aware of the unbeneficial of prioritizing the chemical fertilizer.
By the end of the exploration, as an experiment, we created a garden at Liger Campus where we grew different types of vegetables. With the little amount of time we had, we couldn’t clearly identify our goal, yet we had a much better understanding of vegetable farming in Cambodia. I positively hope we will be able to continue the project to better the lives of Cambodians.