Coconuts are prized for their milk and their delicious meat, but their husks and shells most often end up as fuel for cooking fires.
Palm trees provide many benefits to Cambodian society. Their leaves are used for roofing, their fruit can be used to make palm cakes, the juice from their flowers can be squeezed to make sugar and their stems can be woven onto rafts.
Weaving is common throughout the Kingdom, especially in rural areas. Palm leaves are woven into everyday consumer products like baskets, boxes, trays or decorative products.
Perhaps few people think of the far off provinces of the Kingdom as centres of innovation, but a private school near the Vietnamese border is working to dispel that myth.
‘When you look at these flowers, they appear simple. But what you do not realise is the many stages of decoration they have passed through before becoming so beautiful.
Although Chhat Sokhoeurb drifted into becoming a weaver and vendor of banana pseudostem products through her younger brother, it is a career of social interest that she has found a passion for.
Every day, Ngorn Makara collects the large blue buckets that the sugarcane juice vendors use to dispose of bagasse – the dry pulpy fibrous material that remains once the juice is extracted – and delivers the containers to the factory he works at.
Agricultural expert Suong Noy has been advising farmers to use solar systems to pump water to their rice fields or plantations instead of using water pumping machines that run on fuel or manually.
Hai Socheat Vaddana’s passion for supporting handmade and environmentally safe products, as well as her mission to promote women’s employment in the Kingdom, inspired her to start making straws from chachot.
Traditionally, most weavers of seagrass are elderly people, who sit and weave to pass the time after their daily work is done. It seems that this tradition may be lost in the future, as younger Cambodians are less inclined to take up the art.