Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture (CEDAC), a Cambodian agricultural organisation, will collect US$20 million from the Kingdom’s farmers through 2022 in an attempt to accumulate capital for organic rice production.
The funds will be collected without a collaborating partner or foreign donors, a move that is hoped will build unity and confidence among the Kingdom’s farming community, CEDAC President Yang Saing Koma said.
“We want to show that the farmers can combine capital, that they can do this. But it’s not easy. It needs time. Nothing like this has existed before. We think we can do it,” he said.
Organic farming practices are taking hold in many parts of the county, farmers reported. CEDAC techniques have become increasingly prevalent as a means to make a living.
Oun Sophal, president of CEDAC’s Farmer Network from Kampot province’s Dang Tong district, said that there are 40,000 organic rice farming families in the county. The production of organic rice has saved many farmers on the cost of chemicals. Pesticides also reduce rice yields.
“When I used chemical fertilisers, I got 2.5 tonnes of rice per hectares and now I have from 3.5 tonnes to 5 tonnes per hectare without spending money on chemical fertilisers,” Oun Sophal said.
Mao Thora, secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce, said the ministry promoted the production of all kinds of rice, not just organic rice.
CEDAC’s attempt to increase the production of organic rice was an independent effort, he noted.
To contact the reporter on this story: Rann Reuy at [email protected]