Small farmers dependent upon a single annual rice crop live a subsistence life and face financial disaster and forced economic migration when the rains and rice crop fail. Since 2000, to combat this, RAP has educated farmers in the benefits of diversification for income stability,chemical free farming techiniques to increase yield and reforestation. RAP has also drilling nearly 500 water wells to provide reliable access to drinking water for farming families in the months long dry season.
Historically these farmers farmed rice. Crop failure or illness may cause loss of land when peasant farmers borrow money to replace crop revenue. Drought often forces farmers to migrate to the city searching for work ( $1 per day), uprooting families, forcing children to leave school,perpetuating a cycle of poverty. Crop diversification allows farmers with small plots unsuited to rice farming, to generate sustainable cash income by growing chemical free produce sustained by well water.
Crop diversity,better farming skills and access to reliable water resources for small plot vegetable and animal farming allows farmers to create sustainable income.This keeps families on the farm, keeps kids in school and helps to limit the transmission of HIV/AIDS to villages by breaking the cycle of farmers who had migrated to the city to work.These factors combine to improve economic well being of the family, raise incomes, prevent hunger,promote education and preserve farming tradition.
Family farming is preserved in the region with ,rising incomes and a better educated community. Forced economic migration is greatly diminished,which helps slow the transmission of HIV/AIDS into these communities. Emphasis on chemical free farming and reforestation helps to restore previously degraded land and promotes conservation efforts which in turn have long term benefits to the community. Care is taken to insure that wells are carefully placed so as to help to limit ground water depletion.