Published: Oct 26, 2022 Reading time: 5 minutes
© Foto: PIN Cambodia

In 2020, Cambodia has to deal with the COVID-19 crisis that affected three main sectors of the country’s economy, namely, tourism, manufacturing exports, and construction. In addition, the economic slowdown due to COVID-19 has resulted in a reduction of income from all sources among both rural and urban households. The pandemic caused more rising in unemployment and increased poverty and inequality, especially for people in rural areas since a large majority of migrants were forced to return home due to job and income loss.

To support rural communities, on August 14, 2020, People in Need (PIN), with financial support from the European Union (EU) and the Czech Republic Development Agency (CzDA), conceptualised the RECOVER project which aims to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on multiple rural groups along the Tonle Sap Region. Amongst other project partners and support activities (inclusive employment, horticulture, and safe migration), PIN strongly focuses on poultry farming of smallholder farmers. The strengthening and connecting of key poultry value chain actors are the main focus which PIN and partners play a coordination role and support them to address the issues and challenges for their business operation and collaboration. The key activities implemented through the project include technical training on poultry business plan formulation, market linkages, and access to affordable capital.  

Chick producers are one of the key actors who play an important role in producing chicks and supplying them to producer group members. One of our chick producers from Battambang is Mr. Nhor Chamnan. He is from Ek Phnom district in Battambang province. He currently lives with his family and build a chicken farm to produce chick near his house.

In September 2021, Chamnan decided to join the RECOVER project, funded by the European Union in Cambodia and the Česká rozvojová agentura - CzechAid, and implemented by CIRD, DCA, People in Need Cambodia and VSO, after a promotional campaign was conducted in the target communities in Battambang. Through the campaign, he was inspired to learn more about poultry production. He hopes that his new business in chick production can help him earn money without having to work for others and away from home.

Prior to joining the RECOVER project, Chamnan worked at a printing house in Battambang for five years, then moved to Phnom Penh to find another opportunity​ as an administrator and designer at AZI company. However, due to COVID-19, he became unemployed and decided to go back to Battambang. At that time, Chamnan also managed his small chicken farm without any knowledge of disease control, health care, and feeding chickens. As he does not have sufficient knowledge of how to better manage his farm, he was not able to earn much money, which gave him no interest in scaling up his business at all.

With the project’s support, he decided to become a chick producer. The project provided capacity building training on business plan formulation, technical training for raising chickens, and grant opportunities which can cover the costs for chick incubators, artificial insemination cage, and parent stock. Thus, he is now able to increase from 20 parents' stock to 120 chickens and built an additional pen for broiler production with 300 chicks by using a standard chick raising technique, which he learned from the project training. Chamnan had acquired new knowledge to improve his farm management skills, such as nutrient feed production, medication and vaccination, and breed selection. Since then, his business started to grow well. Chamnan's products were sold to farmers as part of the RECOVER project network and other people living within his community.  

So far, Chamnan has been satisfied with the improvements he sees from his farm. He can sell 1,200 to 1,500 chicks per month, which can generate between 4 million Khmer Riels (KHR) to 4,5 million KHR ($1000 to $1125) per month from the chick production business. This amount can help him earn profit of between 2 million KHR to 2.5 million KHR ($500 to $625) per month.

Moreover, with his knowledge on medication and vaccination, he started a new business by selling medicinal and vaccination products for chickens. "I appreciate the project support, as I learned new skills that helped boost my business. I would like to encourage people to consider poultry as a business to help them earn extra income", Chamnan shares.

Despite the challenges brought about by COVID-19, Chamnan persevered through the hardships he faced during his unemployment period. He whole-heartedly decided to join the RECOVER project to improve his livelihood to support himself and his family.

Chamnan says, “currently, there is higher demand for chickens, so I will increase the number of chickens and build more broilers in the future". He is willing to learn more techniques and further develop his skills to support his business and others around him.

Through the support of the RECOVER project, Chamnan was able to set an example to his community through his personal journey in learning new skills that can help kick-start his own business. With Chamnan’s business in poultry farming, his community can be inspired to start their own businesses without having to work for others or stay away from their families.

The RECOVER project is funded by the European Union in Cambodia and the Czech Republic Development Agency (CzDA). The content in this article is the sole responsibility of People in Need (PIN) and its project partners within the consortium and does not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union and Czech Republic Development Agency.

Autor: Senghorng Sem, PIN Cambodia Communications Assistant

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