Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Innovation comes to fertiliser retailing

Innovation comes to fertiliser retailing

Innovation comes to fertiliser retailing

Opinion by Pieter Ypma, Agribusiness Manager of CAVAC, the Cambodian Agricultural Value Chain Program

If Cambodian rice farmers would apply fertiliser better, they could increase yields and earn more money.

Extension services by the government and by NGOs have helped improve farmer practices, but use of fertilisers is still far from optimal.

Under the guidance of the Royal Government of Cambodia, AusAID’s agricultural program CAVAC helps farmers in a different way. It is helping 13 fertiliser companies to become a source of knowledge.

Companies realise that better relationships with farmers will increase sales, and that offering advice on how to apply fertiliser is a good way to create loyal clients.

CAVAC realises that if companies and their retailers become information centres for farmers, information on new technologies and techniques will continue to be available to farmers beyond the life of CAVAC.

This approach is not new and has been applied in other countries in the region, such as Bangladesh.

Two years ago, Australia’s agricultural program agreed with a fertiliser company in Takeo to try working together. Later, a large national fertiliser company became CAVAC’s second partner.

The first activity with the new partner was national retailer training on optimal use of fertiliser, in April, 2011 in Phnom Penh. CAVAC funded part of the costs.

Regional training followed to increase retailers’ capacity to give advice, but also to demonstrate to retailers how giving information is good business. 150 retailers from four provinces participated.

CAVAC also worked with the company to improve its internal quality control, to assure the best quality fertiliser for its clients. Initial signs were encouraging: sales of fertiliser went up 10 to 20 per cent because of the better relationship between retailers and farmers.

The company now plans to continue training its retailers and has requested CAVAC’s assistance to help set up this internal system.

The sales increase did not go unnoticed by other fertiliser companies, and CAVAC has agreed to give similar support to 12 other companies. If successful, this initiative could benefit large numbers of farmers.

It could help farmers make better choices when applying organic or chemical fertiliser and ultimately increase their productivity and incomes.

What is equally good is that this advice comes for free when buying fertiliser, now and in the future.

This intervention is a good example of how the Australian Government and the Royal Government of Cambodia are working closely together to increase the production of paddy and improve farmers’ lives.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all