Ethnic minorities and indigenous groups in Ratanakkiri, among the poorest groups in the Kingdom, would benefit from a US$4 million project to increase sustainable agriculture and livestock farming, officials said yesterday.
Speaking at the launch of the Annadya project – which means “happiness to eat as needed” in Sanskrit – project partners said a key objective of the project was to reduce the dire poverty in Ratanakkiri.
“The poverty rate in Ratanakkiri is 37 per cent,” project manager Annick Schubert said yesterday. “Half the residents in Ratanakkiri are ethnic minorities and indigenous people.
“These groups are unanimously known to be particularly vulnerable, lacking infrastructure, employment and education,” she said.
The project will be implemented in 200 villages in Ratanakkiri and its neighbouring province in Laos.
Pierre Petit, rector of Luxembourg University, who is the academic director of the project, said the fundamental problem was a lack of knowledge of modern farming techniques.
“These groups live on hunting, finding fruit and recycling crops, and this causes them to face food shortages,” Petit said. “We hope they will benefit from scientific knowledge and improve their living standards.”