Family-based chicken farming is on the rise in Cambodia, thanks in part to a $1.35 million project funded by the EU, said an NGO, People in Need Cambodia (Pin).
Pin said over the past two years, Cambodian families have raised nearly 90 per cent more chickens in terms of quantity, while generating 50 per cent more income.
“Through this project, farmers learn new techniques, and about business plans and marketing as well as how to build a network and to cooperate with a team of farmers,” said Chourn Bunnara, Pin’s project manager at a livestock workshop on Tuesday.
He said the main purpose of the Pin project was to promote Cambodian family income by teaching them “to farm to meet the market demand”. Bunnara said more than 10,000 households from eight provinces have participated in the project thus far.
The deputy director-general of the Directorate of Animal Health and Production, Ok Savin, said the domestic meat supply is presently insufficient, forcing Cambodia to import such products to meet demand.
“We still need chicken imports, and this has been increasing since the domestic chicken industry has been in decline and since young people have given up livestock farming to work in garment factories."
“However due to the shortage of supply, [the government] has also set up policies and provided techniques and training to farmers for how to increase production and lower costs. Chicken farming should earn more for families than going abroad to work,” she said.
Thann Ponlok, 30, a farmer from Takeo province, said after taking part in the Pin project, his income had dramatically increased.
“I can supply the market regularly and earn from four million riel [$1,000] to five million riel. With this income, I don’t have to worry about supporting my family,” he said.
Ponlok said before joining the project, he raised less than 100 chickens a month, earning him just $150. But after joining, he expanded his chicken farm so that he now supplies 250 to 300 chickens to market each month.