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Using land effectively, efficently


A farmer in Takeo province picks his vegetables. Photograph: Phnom Penh Post

Since the beginning of the 21st century, climate change has become the most dangerous problem for farmers in Cambodia. From day to day profits from farming have been decreased dramatically, leading farmers to abandon their career and their land.

It’s true that when we don’t use land for a long period, its quality will be reduced to the point of being unusable. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has been trying their best to push farmers to improve their knowledge about using land efficiency and effectively.

“We don’t want famers to just do what they want… that’s why the ministry has gone directly to farmers, providing short courses and publishing books.” said, Mr. Khem Chenda, an executive manager of administration at Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

“Using land to its capacity??? depends on the land. We cannot use only one kind of theories for everykind of land,” he added.

As an example of this, Takeo Province has been divided into two parts which determine which land management styles are put to use. “One part is called the flooding area. The rest is called the hill area,” said Mrs. Mel Channtevy, a civil servant at Department of Agriculture in Takeo Province.

Not only governments help farmers about this problem. NGOs always help in partnership with the government in order to help farmers to maintain quality land.

Cheng Dara, a program manager of Rachna Organisation, which have been working on a field in Takeo since 2005, said, “About 5000 families who involved with us and nearly of them are success and can get benefits from their land.”

Using land efficiently and effectivelyalso involves using less water but practices which can double crop yields.

Mr. Ros Mao, a farmer from Takeo, who began to use this theory in 2003, said that “the benefit from rice, plant, vegetable yields and the budget is totally different? like the sky is opposite from land.”

In the past, his land was30 acres in size and he could get a rice yield of around 200kg. Now, he uses only 17 acres for a rise yield of 600kg.

If parts of his soil have lots of tree roots, he can put it soil in a sack and place it under the trees so that crops can still be grown. For the flooding areas, he plants crops on styrofoamwhich floats on the water.

According to his speech above, Mr. Ros Mao can earn profits around 7 or 8 million riel per year, whereas before his profits had to go towards servicing his debts.

Mr. Khem Chenda adds, “Using land with all of its benefits can earn a lot of profits because it reduces useless projects and increases yields gradually.”

Using land effectively and efficiently is necessary and important for people in the rural areas, which is why Rachana Organization is spreading the knowledge and skills to farmers.

Provinces across the country have received this information from the ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

In conclusion, Mr. Ros Mao says to all farmers, “Water should have fish, land should have vegetables; and fields should have rice.” If you can do it, don’t worry about borrowing money, because more efficient farming practices will raise quality of life and living standards.



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