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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Smart farmer stakes her future on the beanstalk

Smart farmer stakes her future on the beanstalk

JACK’S mother may have berated her son for selling their only cow for a handful of beans, but for Ork Phalla, soy beans represent a prosperous future.

For the past three years, the 41-year-old farmer has taken out loans of $1,600 from ACLEDA Bank to hire workers for her four-hectare farm in the village of O’Khlengpor, on the outskirts of Tbeng Meanchey.

Now she employs between 15 and 20 farmhands.

This strategy has reaped rich rewards. Once she has paid back the bank loan, Ork Phalla can be left with $1,000 profit each season. She generally grows two crops a year.

“If we don’t grow it, we don’t have anything to do,” Ork Phalla says.

“If we spend $1,000 or $2,000, we can make $4,000 or $5,000.”

Ork Phalla grows her soy beans on a former cashew plantation that was destroyed by fire.

Despite the size of her loan, Ork Phalla is not too worried about meeting her repayments. “We don’t have big concerns because we know how to earn,” she says.

Whether Ork Phalla’s investment in the future will lead to her finding a golden egg, only time will tell.

INTERPRETER: RANN REUY

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