Integrated Farming!

23-10-2014 The farmer family Hoeurn and Yan shows what the CFAP membership brought them: not only an increase in production but also an increase in diversity and - last but not least - thanks to the pond a year round production! Their story demonstrates the results and development the family went through the last seven years.

The family
Hem Hoeurn, 57 years old, and her husband Meas Yan, aged 62 years old, are farmers who live in Teyea village, Thlork commune, Svay Chhrum district, Svay Rieng Province. They have many family members, including six children.

Originally, they had 4.25 ha of paddy rice field. After their children got married, 3 ha of land was divided so all 6 children got 0.5 ha each. They left 1.25 ha only for paddy rice and vegetable growing. They used about 0.70 ha for rice growing – they grew three crops per year – while they would use the rest of the land for growing vegetables and some other crops. Before, the family grew only one rice variety; on average it yielded about 5 tons/crops/ha, and it took about 110-115 days from growing to harvest. 

The benefits of the CFAP membership
In 2007 the family became a member of CFAP. Ever since their membership, they have received various technical trainings (CFAP’s on-site technical trainings model) followed by technical advisory support from CFAP’s specialized staff on technical vegetable growing, production cost calculation and technical chicken rearing. Before, the family grew vegetables and rice in a traditional way only with low yields and this took a longer time to harvest; now they have abandoned old practices for new practices. Since 2011, they have applied new technical protocols of CFAP. They soon realized that their vegetables/crops grew much better this way: the yield is of much better quality compared to previous practices. They grow multiple vegetables like cucumbers, bitter gourd, winter melon, eggplant, long bean, Kangkong, water convolvulus, lemon grass, chili and some other leafy vegetables. They grow vegetables/crops, not only for household consumption, but also for sale to villagers, traders and vendors who come and buy from their farm gate for their retails and wholesale in the town centre. 

Increase in produce
On average, they could produce 20 kg to 30 kg of vegetables per day, but during a good season when the weather conditions are good for vegetable growing, they could produce up to 50 kg/day, it depends. Yan said that the production costs of the vegetables are about 1,500 KHR to 2,000 KHR/kg, approximately US $0.375 to US $0.5/kg, depending on the seasons and market demands. They also raise some chickens that range free around their house. Mr. Yan added that he also works with an integrated rice fish farming system, therefore fish can catch small insects. The fish can also stimulate organic fertilizer for rice as well. With this system, both rice and fish grow very well. Every 6-7 months the farmers harvest the fish.

Growing vegetables year round
Last March 2014, Mr. Yan and Mrs. Hoeurn received a new pond (10m x 15m and 3m depth) from CFAP through the “Climate Adaptive Approach for Food Security” programme funded by Agriterra. The pond will be used for vegetables irrigation, especially in the dry season. They said they are very happy with this new pond, as this will enable their family to grow vegetables year round. They already raised 2,500 heads of fish in this new pond; they expect to get some additional income out of it in 6-8 months. 

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