Agriculture minister Dith Tina has advised farmers to perfect their family farming techniques and pay closer attention to the supply chain and current market prices, as well as economic efficiency.

He shared his advice while leading a ministry working group on a May 23 inspection tour of vegetable hothouse and chicken farming collectives in Chang Krorng and Thma Krae communes in Kratie province’s Chitr Borei district.

Tina stressed that a clear understanding of the latest farming techniques is crucial if farmers are to reduce their production costs and increase profits.

“Farmers should devise clear production plans. They can use electricity to operate their irrigation pumps at night time, but should explore the solar options that are available for daytime pumping. It is also worth looking into the use of chicken manure to make fertiliser, as this could further reduce their production costs while also improving the sustainability of their farms,” he said.

Try Sopheak, director of the Kratie provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said the vegetable growing collective in Thma Krae commune’s Thma Krae Leu village was established in 2019. The 16 members grow a variety of vegetables, including kale, cucumber, watermelon and corn, and provide the market with around six tonnes of produce every month.

“The group has built four hothouses and expanded its total area under cultivation to around 1,000sqm,” he said.

He added that the chicken collective that Tina inspected was established in November 2021, on an area of about 10ha in Chang Krorng village of the same commune. The farm contracts to CP Cambodia – a subsidiary of Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group – and has four barns with a total of 26,000 chickens.

“As part of its supply agreement, CP provides technical support, chicks, feed, medicine and vaccines to the collective. Each bird takes around 65 days to reach the agreed purchase weight of 1.2kg,” he explained.

He told The Post that the provincial authorities inaugurated the “Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Training and Promotion Centre in Kratie province” in Sambok commune of the district on May 22.

He said the new training centre would play an important role in the transfer of knowledge to officials, farmers and agriculture students.

“We expect the centre to contribute to finding solutions to several of the current issues faced by the farming sector,” he said.