There was a call to increase the number of agricultural trainings we offered. Responding to that call, we increased the number of agricultural trainings we provide annually. Having hosted six trainings for 100 people in 2016, this year we held twenty-two trainings for 270 trainees.
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Food Security Program....
Along with clean water and reducing diseases (see Health program above), food security is one of the highest priorities for any human. Malnutrition is a leading cause of sickness and death in Cambodia (as with much of the world). Compounding this issue is the fact that low agricultural productivity often means there is little, if any, surplus from the family garden to sell as income, and low income leads to continued poor nutrition and poor health. The most direct route to countering these threats is regular access to beneficial foods. Trailblazer Foundation’s Food Security program is focused on improving the quality and quantity of food our rural partners eat, thereby reducing the villagers’ hunger and poverty.
Through discussions with our local village partners, Trailblazer knows that most villagers want to learn how to grow crops and raise animals that will provide their families with a greater diversity of foods, ones that are plentiful and nutritious. To that end, we will combine our agricultural trainings into a comprehensive “Homestead Garden Training,” which will focus on the basics of growing crops for personal/family consumption. We plan to hold eleven of these trainings, for a total of 100+ attendees.
Trailblazer’s Cambodian staff conducts the trainings, which take place in the villages where the participants live. Much of the information we provide to the trainees comes from what our staff has learned through our on-site agriculture research and development test plots.
As part of this process, Trailblazer also provides wells - through our Health program - to a percentage of trainees who don't already have one. This provides these farmers access to water for their enhanced and/or expanded agricultural activities. Many of the rural farmer trainees who already have wells, received those wells from Trailblazer's Health program.
At the conclusion of each training, graduates receive some supplies and/or educational materials to help them incorporate their new skills and knowledge into their on-going agricultural pursuits. These “start-up” kits for comprehensive Homestead Garden training include:
* Soil Preparation and Management, Organic Pesticides and Fertilizers: printed educational materials.
* Horticulture, Composting, and Earthworms: printed educational materials, and seed packs for new crops.
Trailblazer identifies workshop participants, and those who receive a new well, through two avenues:  the annual local government assessment of village needs (see "Our Strategy" under "About Us"); and  by our Cambodian staff visiting with village chiefs and interested villagers to identify which farmers are best suited to participate in a training. This latter determination is largely based on the nutritional needs of a farmer’s family, and the motivation of a farmer to attend the workshop and institute the skills and knowledge s/he gains.
Trailblazer is committed to addressing food security in the Siem Reap province, because it is one of two provinces in the country that the World Food Program and the Cambodian government have identified as being significantly poor and food-insecure, Therefore, we know we can make a difference for the better.