Working in partnership with PUR Projet, the Foundation aimed to help disadvantaged farmers be fully self-sufficient by providing new sources of income and developing sustainable solutions. We did so through agroforestry, rice ducking (whereby ducklings are released into irrigated rice paddies to oxygenate the water, nourish the soil and eat snails and weeds) and combining small cattle breeding and farming. Emphasis was put on farmers’ training to create the right conditions for community empowerment and self-reliance, and a “duck bank”, based on payments and reimbursements in kind of rice ducking, was also set up.
The program allowed for the transition towards sustainable micro-farming with low environmental impact and significant yield improvement, which contributed to local communities’ empowerment. Agroforestry mitigated the main adverse effects (floods and drought) of climate change. Poor farming families increased their rice yield and income without relying on purchased inputs, with savings or income increases in the region of 20-30%.