Case Story: “White Gold from the Sea”

White Gold from the Sea

Noun Nim is 32 years old.  Noun Nim and his wife, Sorn Samin, earn their living by producing marine salt during the dry season. He inherited the skill from his parents. During the raining season, fishing crabs and mangrove lobsters is their main activity to complement the family income.

From year to year, marine salt production relies on the climate. In some years, a long dry season with excessively hot temperatures has impeded Noun Nim from producing much salt. Too poor to pay for the extra labor required to clean the salt field, Nim encountered a lot of difficulties.

Morodok staff went to meet Nim and other villagers to inform them about the possibility of obtaining a loan from the community revolving fund (CRF) in their commune. Nim and other villagers set up interest groups in a small business network, enabling them to be eligible for a CRF loan.

Nim agreed with the CRF to take a loan of 1,500,000 KHR ($375) to expand his salt production. After producing 30 tons of salt, he was able to earn 12,000,000 KHR.  He had to use his earnings to pay for labor, fuel for pumping water, and packaging for the salt.  He repaid the loan with interest, and had enough money left to securely feed his family.

Nim now wants to properly label his product to promote sales. He is confident that the quality of his production is comparable to commercially available salt. Since he accessed the CRF loan, Nim was elected as leader of his salt network. He asserted that the salt production will enable his daughter to go to school and will improve his family livelihood.