Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Garlic leaves are a boon for farmer

Garlic leaves are a boon for farmer

Garlic farmer Pring Leang, 49, waters crops on his farm in Kandal province’s Saang district.
Garlic farmer Pring Leang, 49, waters crops on his farm in Kandal province’s Saang district. RANN REUY

Garlic leaves are a boon for farmer

Profitable income generation has many sources. Whether it requires work in an office, trading on the market or farming land – the outcome always depends on the innovation and effort of the individual.

For Pring Leang, the sources are three small fields in Kampong Por village in Kraingyov commune of Saang district, about 40 kilometres south of Phnom Penh. Here, on a total of half a hectare of land, the 49-year-old plants garlic to sell its leaves. ‘

This, he says, brings him $5,000 per year.

“I have never feared loss of income because we have been professionally working for nearly 30 years,” he said.

The time between planting the seeds and harvesting the leaves is about 40 days, a process Leang performs three times in a given year.

“This work is not tiring because I can rest whenever I prefer,” he said.

The garlic leaf price has been volatile, going up and down depending on the number of farmers planting. However, he says he has never sees losses because his fields are well preserved and he always reserves seeds from the current crop for planting later, to avoid the necessity of spending more money by purchasing them from traders.

“It is cheap when more garlic leaf farmers plant simultaneously during harvesting time,” Leang said.

On Saturday, a day before the national election, garlic leaves were sold for 3,500 riel per kilogram, jumping from 2,500 riel two weeks ago. Leang says at a price of 3,500 riel he can make about 1 million riel ($250) from leaves planted on 0.10 hectares – one of the three small fields.

Two years ago, the price decreased to a level as low as 800 riel a kilogram, and profits were so low that some people quit planting.

Although making a small loss, Leang continued on the reserve seeds he had saved up.

He says that recently, prices have been good and during the rainy season in October, November and December, they climbed up to 10,000 riel a kilogram.

Besides selling to middlemen trading on markets in Phnom Penh, Leang also hawks seeds to farmers in his village or neighbouring villages.

While damage on the fields does occur, Leang said the worst scenario would be a maximum 30 per cent loss of the his total output for a round of planting.

Of his three children, two are married and followed his career as a garlic farmer, while his youngest daughter is in her third year as a student at a university in Phnom Penh.

“I have spent much money for my daughter studying,” he says. “If my daughter didn’t study, the money I owned today would be pretty good.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the