In many Asian cultures, especially Thailand and Cambodia, crickets are a tasty snack to be munched on with a cold drink. Cooked with a little soy sauce, these little crunchy, bite-sized bugs provide protein, calcium, fats and other rich minerals.
And they are easy to raise—especially in small spaces—making them the ideal income-generating project for impoverished families.
For a farmer named Thol and his wife, living in Thlat village in Cambodia—crickets provided a financial cushion to ease the stresses of poverty.
Thol, age 51, farmed vegetables and rice. Yet, he and his wife lacked money for important daily needs, like medical care or food during growing season.
Food for the Hungry (FH) started working in Thlat village by creating savings groups. The groups organized men and women into groups of 10 to 20 people. They would learn about managing finances and businesses, and each week deposit a small amount of money into a group savings. From the group savings, members could take out a loan and pay it back with low interest.
Thol and his wife became savings group members and got the idea to start a small business to earn extra income during the slow farming seasons. However, they weren’t sure what business to start.
Then FH provided training for farmers in the Takeo province on raising and caring for crickets. Thol joined the training. He and his wife decided to team up to start a business.
They launched a food business: Fried crickets.
He raises the crickets and his wife cooks them. “Now my wife sells fried crickets with 50 cents a cup and gets regular income,” said Thol. “I would like to give many thanks to FH/Cambodia staff as they help people in my community, including me, with skills and new knowledge.”
With the extra income from the fried cricket business, Thol and his wife took out a loan from the savings group to start a poultry farm. “With new skills I learned from FH Cambodia staff, I started various income generation projects that I can conveniently do while being at home,” said Thol’s wife.
She also said that while she is not rich, she is not poor anymore. People in her community are loving the crickets. She plans to expand the cricket farm to meet the higher demand for crickets.
Thanks to partners like you, people all over the world are finding ways to earn income to end poverty in their lives.
Um Phor is works as a communications coordinator for FH/Cambodia.