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Japanese-Cambodian Catuddhisa Sangha creates rice bank to help Cambodian farmers

Japanese-Cambodian Catuddhisa Sangha creates rice bank to help Cambodian farmers

Catuddhisa Sangha Organization has set aside more than 130 tonnes of paddy rice to create a small paddy rice bank in order to facilitate the livelihoods of rural families in four different provinces in Cambodia.

Seong Kea, country director of Catuddhisa Sangha Organization in Cambodia said that since its establishment in 2003 with the support of the Catuddhisa Sangha Organization of Buddhist followers in Japan, more than 500 Cambodian families have joined the group.

There are 265 families that are members of Catuddhisa Sangha Organization in in Ta Ngen village and Prey Preal village, Ta Kream commune, Bannon district, Battambang province. Just over 200 member families live in Snom Kraper commune, Kong Pisey district, Kampong Speu province. Other families that are members of the Buddhist association live in O’Russey commune, Kampong Tralach district, Kampong Chhnang province and Prey Veng province.

“Our organization has always gone down to educate members in their village about virtue in a Buddhist way, together with how to grow rice and other crops in a natural method, following the track of Buddha’s advice in order to help them have happiness in their living area while harmonising with the surrounding nature,” Seong said.

“At first, this organisation had only a small stock of paddy rice crops to assist with rice production in target villages, allowing only a small number of families to borrow paddy rice from us for their rice production and then return it after harvest season, in which we charge a 20 per cent interest rate of rice. Of the 20 per cent rice interest, we keep 5 per cent for them to develop their local areas with projects such as roads, canals and so on,” said Seong. “This practice does not mean the organisation works for profit but we do it for the interests of all members. All the paddy rice we get, we keep for supply for the main need of all members.”

“Each year, the output of paddy rice from our bank has increased steadily until 2013. Our bank has stockpiled 130 tonnes of paddy rice to help any member who needs it, or people who are not members as well.”

The headquarters of Catuddhisa Sangha Organization are in Tokyo. The organisation currently has branches in 15 countries, including Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar.

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