Tuesday January 16, 2018

Cambodian farmers to try out Organic farming over rice farming

The major advantage regarding growing vegetables is that they sell at higher prices.

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Rice farming in Cambodia. Image Source: Wikipedia.org
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  • Farmers of Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province are eager to grow vegetables like- spinach, cauliflower, lettuce or collard greens
  • here were 7 million people in 2007 under below the poverty line. However, the figure had reduced to 3 million in 2012. But, this growth had declined in last two years
  • According to World Bank, vegetables fetch an income of $1575 per hectare while it is $544 per hectare for cassava and $307 per hectare for rice

Rice is grown by the majority of farmers in Cambodia. But now, farmers have started realizing that growing organic food is also a healthy option and can attract more profit.

Following rice, cassava and maize are the other crops grown by the farmers. But this time farmers of Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province are eager to grow vegetables like- spinach, cauliflower, lettuce or collard greens.

“While the vast majority of Cambodian farmers grow rice, and to a lesser extent cassava and maize, only about a quarter do so commercially,” says an analysis done by VOA.

The major advantage regarding growing vegetables is that they are sold at higher prices. Moreover, it requires only a month and a half to harvest. On the other hand, rice requires almost 6 months to harvest.

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According to farmers, the vegetables grown locally tastes sweet while that imported from other countries tastes plain. They also gave an example of collard greens, which taste sweet when grown locally to validate their point.

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According to a recent study of the World Bank the agriculture sector has helped the people living below the poverty line and has reduced their number as well. There were 7 million people in 2007 below the poverty line. However, the figure had reduced to 3 million in 2012. But, this growth had declined in last two years.

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The World Bank has also suggested that Cambodian farmers need to focus on greater yields by increasing the input and trying different crops to increase their productivity. However, farmers are finding it difficult to implement.

The report also suggests that vegetables fetch an income of $1575 per hectare while it is $544 per hectare for cassava and $307 per hectare for rice.

– The information has been compiled by Aparna Gupta, an intern with NewsGram. Twitter @writetoaparna99

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A nest of endangered turtle found in Mekong river in Cambodia

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A nest of endangered turtle found in Mekong river in Cambodia.
A nest of endangered turtle found in Mekong river in Cambodia. wikimedia
  • An endangered giant turtle was found in Cambodia
  • The turtle was transferred to Wildlife Conservation Society
  • The turtle is taken to breed and all the eggs hatch and the hatchlings are released into the river.

Phnom Penh, Dec 20, 2017: A nest of the globally endangered Asian giant softshell turtle was found on a sandbar on the Mekong river in Cambodia, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) said.

This is the only remaining area in the country where these huge turtles still breed. This nest was now being protected by native communities until all the eggs hatch and the hatchlings are released into the river.

The Asian giant softshell turtle or Pelochelys cantorii is listed on the IUCN Red List as globally endangered.

It was thought extinct in the Cambodian portion of the Mekong river until its rediscovery in 2007 in a 48-km river stretch in Kratie and Stung Treng provinces.

The Mekong Turtle Conservation Project, formerly managed by Conservation International, was transferred to the WCS this year, with collaboration from the Fisheries Administration and the Turtle Survival Alliance.

The community-based protection programme encourages the participation of the communities living in Kratie and Stung Treng provinces by hiring former nest collectors to search for and protect nests, instead of harvesting the eggs.

Since 2007, a total of 378 nests have been protected and 8,528 hatchlings released.

“From now until June is the breeding period of the Asian giant softshell turtle. This is the first nest we have found so far this year. We will work hard with the Fisheries Administration and local communities to find more nests along the Mekong river and protect them from egg collection,” Som Sitha, WCS’s Technical Advisor to the Turtle Conservation Project, said.

“The Asian giant softshell turtle is a very rare species that will become extinct in the near future if we do not take proper action to conserve them. There are not many individuals left. Everyone can help conserve the species by not buying or eating their meat or eggs.” (IANS)

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