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Cow loans offer help to poor

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
The Japanese NGO loans cows to villagers in Battambang’s Banan district. Supplied

A Japanese organisation has cooperated with the Appropriate Technology International Movement (AIM) to set up a pilot project loaning cows to poor communities in Battambang province in a bid to improve living standards and reduce external migration.

The cow bank plans to loan animals to communities in Prey Preal village in Banan district.

AIM executive director Sing Kea said yesterday Kurume Overseas Volunteer Collaborations, which has helped poor children in Prey Preal community since 2012, set up a cow bank in 2015.

This was coordinated by AIM to provide cows for residents to borrow and raise, which helped to improve the living conditions of families and reduce the migration of people in the community.

“Up to February this year, KOVC has had 20 cows for people to borrow, so when a cow has a calf, we will give it to borrowers and when the cow delivers another one, the calf will be provided to the KOVC,” Mr Kea said.

He added that KOVC also helped to teach small-scale tailoring skills to poor women, provided school materials to village students and created a small library to help their study.

“The organisation helps poor women to learn tailoring and the products are taken to sell in Japan. So, Japanese people also can know about our Khmer achievements,” Mr Kea said.

Sayoe Nojima, CEO of KOVC, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

However, she told local media that the cow bank was a pilot project.

The organisation planned to expand the number of cows to lend to local people who need cows to use in agriculture and to improve their livelihoods.

“I want the environment in my target area to be beautiful with a prosperous life of the people,” she said.

Ouch Soy, 56, who borrowed a cow from the KOVC, said that the cow he borrowed had given birth.

He sold one calf for more than $180 to support his family and gave back another calf to the organisation.

“But I will continue to borrow more cows to get the calves,” he said.

Prey Preal deputy village chief Phen Ting said the provision of cows on loan had helped people facing difficulties.

Mr Ting said more than 470 families lived in Prey Preal village. Most people migrated to other areas due to their poor living conditions.

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