|Organization Name:||Ratanak International|
|Project Name:||Trafficking Vulnerability Reduction Project|
|Purpose of Investment:||To launch three new rice mills into rural communities in Banteay Meanchey province, Cambodia to address local issues of poverty and trafficking with an upstream, strategic solution allowing youth to remain in their villages.|
Ratanak International will construct three rice mills in the Cambodian border town of Banteay Meanchey located near the Thai/Cambodian border. Currently, farmers here sell their harvested rice to a middle man, significantly reducing the profit earned from a harvest. By milling their own rice, these communities will benefit by being able to retain more profits from selling not only the rice, but also rice by-products including the husks and broken rice bits.
There are roughly 30 members in each of the 3 farming co-operatives. By the end of the year, they plan for another 100 people to join each co-op. In total, this project plans to mill rice for 600 families, including rice of both members and non-members.
Three mills will be built in 2017. An evaluation will be done after the completion of the project and monitoring period to determine whether more rice mills will be built in 2018 and 2019.
This project is being called the Trafficking Vulnerability Reduction Project (TVR). In addition to the construction of rice mills, it will provide training and support for co-operative members using a strategy of community empowerment through four project phases. The TVR will ultimately work to decrease the need for risky migration and reduce financial vulnerability for these communities, reducing the risk for human trafficking and exploitation.
- 26 existing farming co-operatives in this area have been surveyed through a 3 year study to determine those that are best positioned to benefit from the provision of a rice mill, factoring in agricultural production, location, climate, access to markets and village stability.
- The three selected co-operatives will receive additional training on business management, account keeping, community infrastructure management and training that would be specific to the agreement governing the rice mill.
- The community will contribute by constructing a rice mill shed prior to the installation of the rice mill. Training specific to the operation of the rice mill would be scheduled to coincide with installation.
- Scheduled and unscheduled visits will take place to support the co-operative, assess bookkeeping and provide other support.
The short term impact of the TVR will be a high-functioning co-operative, as well as increased revenue for co-operatives and families alike. In the long-term, we desire to see stronger communities that are less vulnerable to trafficking. Baseline surveys will be undertaken at the beginning of the project to determine the current impact of migration on the members of the cooperative. It will be a few years before impact in its entirety can be measured, but previous study indicates that better migration decisions are made when families do not need to worry about how they will be able to provide for themselves.
- Three operational rice mills will be constructed in three different farming co-operatives in Banteay Meanchey, Cambodia by the end of 2017. These three communities have been identified from 26 existing co-operatives to manage these rice mill businesses.
- Families with membership in these co-operatives will receive an increased profit from their rice products of approximately 450% – 600% as a result of milling their own rice.
- The three farming co-operatives will be strengthened having received additional training on business management, account keeping, community infrastructure management and Biblical principles relating to business and cooperatives. This will be measured through monthly reports and baseline/endline survey comparisons.