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Many factors, such as climate change, lack of water retention infrastructure, and lack of access to local agricultural markets push the villages of rural Cambodia towards endemic poverty. According to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Battambang Province receives an average of 1,300 mm of rainfall annually, mostly during the monsoon season (June - October), but much of the water from this annual deluge disappears shortly thereafter. This is then followed by a blistering dry season (November - May) in which 44% of families report that they do not have enough water, and just 6% of these families report that they have enough food year-round. Only one-quarter of these families even attempt to maintain a home garden during the dry season.
Bareebo will dig 20 irrigation ponds for small-holder families in rural Cambodia so they can farm organic gardens year-round to improve their food security, and produce output for sale at local markets. This pond project is one component of a broader Bareebo program that will also provide trainings to these 20 families on organic food production and how to produce organic food for the market. If the rains from the monsoon season could be collected and stored properly in earthen ponds, families could have access to sufficient water year-round to irrigate organic home gardens and grow food both for home consumption and for sale at the market. This water resource will help small-scale family farmers improve their overall quality of life and increase their income. The target groups for this project are small-holder farmers (this refers to farmers with land holdings of less than 5 hectares, which represents 85% of the farmers in the target areas) living in six rural villages located in Banan District of Battambang Province in northwestern Cambodia. This project will provide funds solely for the pond digging efforts listed under Activity #1 below, but these same 20 small-holder families will also benefit from the efforts listed under Activity #2, though these activities will be supported from other funding sources which Bareebo has already secured. Any donations to this project to dig irrigation ponds will be coupled with other funds to ensure that the families are capable of growing organic produce and selling it on the market. Activity #1: Pond Digging Goal: Small-holder farmers have access to a year-round water supply for growing food