Cambodian smallholders needed to modernize agricultural production in response to threats of sever climate changes

Chen Lyna, aged 47 years old is a small scale and active farmer live in Phumi Thmol village, Sangkat Chek, just outskirt of Svay Rieng town, Svay Rieng province. He is married with three children, the oldest boy aged 22 years old, second year university, the second daughter aged 19 years old is studying at high school and the youngest daughter aged 11 years old is studying at grade 6. All children are in his burden. His wife Mao Sinat, she is 42 years old. Sinat helps bring vegetables for sale at Vealyun market, the provincial market in Svay Rieng for retails. She also sells vegetable to villagers and clients who come and buy at the farm gate. Lyna’s family has started growing vegetable since 1996.

At the starting period, Lyna’s family grow vegetable with old practices that he learned from their parents and neighbors in the village without receiving proper agricultural technical training from experts. In 2002, the Cambodian Farmer Federation Association of Agricultural Cooperative (CFAP) had expanded its activities and agricultural development programme to his village by creating CHEK Commune Farmers’ Association, now known as CHEK Agricultural Cooperative, then Lyna registered as a member of the cooperative in 2007. Since 2007 onward Lyna has received different training courses accordingly such as trainings on technical vegetable growing skill, animals rearing, leadership, bookkeeping, entrepreneurship, and financial reporting with materials support from CFAP accordingly.

In 2020 Lyna’s family received a net house to improve and modernize small scale agriculture for sale in a year-round. Small net house with 10 meters width and 25 meters length or 250 sq meters supported by the Medium-Term Cooperation Programme Phase II (MTCP-II) for use to improve vegetable production, because the net house is new for him, so now he is planning to test growing some crops and firstly he grows biter gourd and wait for the results, next he wanted to grow new vegetable crops i.e. mustard green, tomato cheery and cauliflowers because it is more popular on markets. Lyna said, net house can help protecting destroys from pests, insects, diseases, weed etc and also savings water better than growing in at an opened field. After receiving agricultural technical training courses accordingly, Lyna is planning to expand his small-scale farm from2000 sq meters to 3000 sq meters included net house given by MTCP2-Cambodia in the future because following new agricultural technical protocols and agricultural practices he got higher yields compared to old practices. Lyna’s family grow safe with more natural crops by using compost and organic fertilizer, so the price is higher than vegetable/crops using chemical fertilizer.

Lyna’s family like growing multiple crops such as bitter gourd, cucumber, Long bean, Mustard green, tomatoes and some others crops. In average his family earns between 40,000 Riels or USD10 to 45,000 Riels or USD11.25 per day from selling multiple crops for a period of 4-5 months annually. Further, Lyna’s family also raise some chickens and few cows. Lyna said, he will try best to earn a living from agriculture to survive the family and support his children to go to school. He wanted all his children have opportunity to study at a university in the future.     

Finally, He encouraged other farmers to grow vegetable and crops following agricultural technical protocols to ensure that we have safe and more natural vegetable, crops and animals for sale with better prices on markets. Moreover, growing vegetable/crops and raising animals can improve our livelihood better, so we do not migrate from the villages with high risks to find jobs outside.