Photo credit: Food Tank
Growing A Future: The Green Shoots Foundation Works to Empower Cambodian Youth through Agriculture
The Green Shoots Foundation (GSF) works in six different countries throughout Asia, including Cambodia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Kyrgyzstan. GSF’s work, along with programs targeting healthcare and education, include a dynamic initiative developed over the last few years, called the Food & Agriculture and Social Entrepreneurship (FASE) program. Two projects currently underway in Cambodia are gaining momentum and recognition in the region for their unique combination of agriculture, peer education, and community building. Head of Monitoring& Evaluation for GSF, Muneezay Jaffery, highlights the ways in which these FASE initiatives are engaging young people in an effort to secure the future of sustainable agriculture in rural communities in Southeast Asia.
The two most noteworthy programs are targeted at educating rural communities about the immediate and long-term benefits of sustainable agriculture. The first, in North West Cambodia, Jaffery explains is “assisting with the management of a 5.5 hectare rice field for an education center run by local partners Enfants du Mekong.” Despite initial skepticism from the local farmers, GSF and local partner, Enfants du Mekong have demonstrated the real-time value of sustainable agricultural practices, which Jaffery describes as “mixed cropping/co-cultivation” and “integrated pest management”. Through the use of these sustainable practices, GSF’s rice field is producing increasingly tremendous yields, which is surprising local farmers and inspiring more involvement from community members. These yields not only provide opportunities for education, as Cambodian youth learn about how to use natural farming methods, but also provide the chance for young people to experiment with agricultural entrepreneurship and how to manage agriculture-based business.
Read the full article: Food Tank