Poultry farmers from Monaghan, Cavan, Louth and Meath have teamed up to support families in Cambodia who are faced with financial difficulty as tourism remains halted in the region due to COVID-19.

An Sicín Co-op has donated €1,000 in total to the ‘Cambodian chicken raising project’, which was founded by two retired teachers from Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan - Dave Phelan and his wife Niamh Boylan.

The project is under way in a rural school outside of Siem Reap, where chicks are beginning to hatch.

Families will be given their own chicks, along with starter packs.

The parents of the 135 children at the school had depended on tourism, driven by the well-known temples of Angkor Wat.

Huge difference

An Sicín Co-op chair Patrick McCormick told the Irish Farmers Journal that he hopes the donation will help to provide food and income security to these families.

“It basically comes down to one chicken farmer helping another. In Ireland 60 years ago, we had the same dependency on hens.

"They provide disadvantaged families with a healthy food source and income through egg sales.

“Cambodia’s tourism trade has totally dried up as a result of COVID-19. No tourism means no income for these people and there’s no social welfare over there to help them.

“What is a small donation for us Irish poultry farmers will make a huge difference to these people.”