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CEDAC workshop on chemical-free fertiliser targets youth

The Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture (CEDAC) will organise a workshop for 80 young people about chemical-free fertiliser farming.

The workshop called Youths’ Participation in Community Development without Chemical Fertilizers will bring together 80 youth and university-aged representatives from 13 provinces, CEDAC’s press release said.

CEDAC’s workshop coincides with the Chemical Free Fertilizer Week campaign, which is running through December 10 and is organised by the International Agricultural Fertilizers Action Network and other organisations worldwide.

Its objective is to share experiences and encourage youth participation in enhancing farmers’ daily lives, increasing awareness of the risks of agricultural poisons and calling for rural youths to promote organic farming for stable livelihoods and safe food.

Him Khortieth, public relations officer for CEDAC, said the workshop and weekly campaign last year focused on the farmers themselves but this year, the focus is on youth, because of the role they play in shaping the future.

Farming in Cambodia is heavily reliant on chemical fertilisers but there is concern surrounding the use of these fertilisers for growing vegetables, he said.

“We estimate that only 1 per cent of the total vegetables grown in Cambodia are organic,” he added.

In late October, officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries expressed concern about imports of fake chemical fertilisers in Cambodia because of its effect on output, income, productivity and health.

Ngin Chhay, president of the rice department in the ministry, said during the 2012 Development Research Forum on Sustainable Development for All in Cambodia that poor technique in chemical fertiliser usage has a serious effect of rice crops.

“We see many agricultural fertilisers are fake and low quality. [Genuine fertilisers] contain 46 per cent urea but we found only 30 per cent when we analyse [fake fertiliser],” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rann Reuy at reuy.rann@phnompenhpost.com

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