Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The organic alternative

The organic alternative

The organic alternative

A

system of organic rice cultivation that can double rice harvest yields is being

promoted as an alternative to potentially risky foreign hybrid rice strains.

A System of Rice Intensification (SRI) introduced by the Center d'Etude et de Developement

Agricole Cambodgien (CEDAC) is increasing rice yields from l.5 tons to three tons

per hectare.

"Unbelievable," said May Som, 63, of the increased yields produced by SRI

on his farm in Trapang Rang village in Kandal. "I harvested more rice than usual

even though my paddy was affected by drought."

SRI involves the use of natural elements such as plant leaves and manure that farmers

can collect easily around their homes. These elements are enriched in a compost system

that converts them into fertilizers that are more potent and much cheaper that chemical

fertilizers.

A total of thirty-three farmers are taking part in SRI trial in Phnom Penh, Kandal,

Kampong Cham, Prey Veng and Kampong Thom.

Dr. Yang Saing Koma, Executive Director of CEDAC told the Post that SRI offered the

promise of boosting Cambodian rice yields at a minimum impact on the environment

or human health.

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