Cost of clean homes discourages organic farming

Many factors are slowing the progress of organic vegetable production in the Kingdom, including the farmer’s budget, technical expertise, markets, weather and planning.

The Champa Prey Pdao Agricultural Association (CPPAA) in Takeo province has only two families who grow organic vegetables because the farmers could not afford to build the necessary net house.

CPPAA director Toun Sopeng said yesterday that the government’s ASPIRE project has built three net houses for two families. Sopeng said farmers couldn’t afford to build mesh houses because each costs around $ 7,000 to $ 10,000.

Sopeng said the CPPAA helps farmers find a specific market for their produce after harvest, but most farmers don’t have a specific plan for choosing the right crops to meet market needs. He added that weather conditions such as rain can destroy organic vegetables as farmers have little knowledge of the necessary techniques.

“Farmers who want to start growing organic vegetables can get a loan from the bank or from organic vegetable companies such as Tropicam, which provides loans to farmer groups who want to cooperate with Tropicam,” Sopeng said.

He added that a mesh house 30 meters wide by 60 meters long can make a farmer about $ 10,000 per year, but the problem is the farmer’s capital to build the mesh house.

Meanwhile, the Krang Leav Samaki Agricultural Cooperative (KLSAC) in Kampong Chhnang Province has five families who grow organic vegetables and sell their products to five businesses in Phnom Penh.

KLSAC director Moa Sarim told the Khmer Times yesterday that organic vegetables need organic fertilizers, which take about a month to produce.

Sarim added that sometimes farmers borrow money from the bank to grow organic vegetables, but they cannot make a profit due to their lack of technical expertise, which is the main factor behind of slow growing organic vegetables.

“We can’t have a specific market, for example by supplying just one company, because sometimes KLSAC doesn’t have the kind of vegetables the company wants,” he said. “That’s why companies are forced to buy them from other associations.”

Cambodia Restaurant Association director Arnaud Darc said food safety is the responsibility of everyone in the supply chain, from farmers to chefs.

“I’m very happy to see new companies investing in organic vegetables like Tropicam and we should expand it quickly to meet demand, which means promoting organic vegetables is promoting people’s health,” Darc said.

Cambodia Tourism Federation Director Luu Meng said, “If organic vegetables are growing to sell in markets across the country, it’s so lucky for buyers because we don’t know the quality of the vegetables. vegetables imported from outside countries.

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