He lives in Plong Tmey village with his wife and two daughters. His formal education ended at the primary school level, but he recalls that he used to be a monk in his younger days, and he learned a lot from other monks. Ear and his wife make a living by cultivating rice, cassava, and rearing 2 cows and 10 chickens. But he had heard from his neighbors and other farmers around his village that growing vegetable was quite profitable because you could plant as many as three cycles in one year compared to one cycle for rice and cassava. He had been unable to make the shift to vegetable farming because he did not know vegetable production techniques and technology and about where to go for information.
When East West Seed Foundation (EWSF) first came to his village, he was selected as a lead farmer among the other 25 farmers from his village, as he met the criteria set by EWSF. Being selected as a lead farmer meant that he would get access to EWSF’s training, consultancy and practical demonstration in his field for the duration of one year. The training comprehensively taught him about techniques and technology on vegetable production from setting up a nursery, transplanting, land preparation, pest management, and input management.
He also learned how to keep record of harvesting and calculating profits from vegetable farming. Ear emphasizes that the training was indeed extremely helpful to get him into vegetable production.
His farm is now a Vegetable Learning Center. It is envisaged his Vegetable Learning Centers will be a place for farmers to come and gain new knowledge and techniques on vegetable farming even after the end of the project.
For the future, Ear would like to rent another farm to expand his vegetable production. By being a Vegetable Learning Center, he wants to help other farmers in vegetable production. Ear says, “Farmers should grow more vegetables by using better planting techniques and technologies, managing pests and disease in a safe way, so the market can be supplied with safe Khmer vegetables rather than importing from other countries.”