Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Solar pump systems up-front costs worth the trade-off for long-term benefits: farmers



Solar pump systems up-front costs worth the trade-off for long-term benefits: farmers

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Duong Oeurn poses for a photo with his solar panels. SUPPLIED

Solar pump systems up-front costs worth the trade-off for long-term benefits: farmers

Agricultural expert Suong Noy has been advising farmers to use solar systems to pump water to their rice fields or plantations instead of using water pumping machines that run on fuel or manually. His advice came out of his own experience using the solar pump system on his own farm and saw the benefits of it firsthand.

With ten years’ of experience using the system, Noy said that one of the biggest benefits of using solar was that the equipment had a life of up to 20 years before it needed to be replaced and it has much lower operating costs over that 20 year span than any machine that runs on gasoline.

“Though the farmers have to spend a little more up front in the first stage, after installing the solar system they will profit by it for a long time,” he added.

Similarly, Duong Oeurn, who farms 20 ha in Kampong Chhnang province’s Teuk Phos district, said that he had just bought more land and chosen to grow fragrant coconuts when he began to use the solar pump system.

The reason he decided to invest significant sums of money into solar panels on his farm was because he viewed his younger brother's experience as a model, but unfortunately for his brother it was a model of what to avoid as Oeurn saw him run into money trouble time and again over fuel costs.

“I saw my brother spending money to buy gasoline every day, just a few months before the price of gasoline went up. Later, I studied other ways besides using gasoline and found that people were really successful with solar. And now, not only do I use it, but my brother is now also starting to install solar," he added.

He continued, recounting that he spent more than $9,000 installing solar panels on his farm and he had nothing to spend after that, but most importantly he was relieved that the amount of water being pumped was sufficient for the needs of growing and caring for his crops.

One factor that can help offset the costs is the fact that solar doesn't require people to watch it or refuel it like other pumping systems, so his farm gained a more productive workforce by freeing workers from that duty, according to Oeurn.

The fragrant coconut farmer has placed very high expectations on his crops this year after the installation of the solar panels, but he still advises other farmers to consider using solar despite the immediate cost in exchange for its long-term benefits.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • Cambodia's poverty cut in half from 2009 to 2019: World Bank report

    A report published by the World Bank on November 28 states that Cambodia’s national poverty rate fell by almost half between 2009 and 2019, but the Covid-19 pandemic recently reversed some of the poverty reduction progress. Cambodia’s poverty rate dropped from 33.8 to 17.8 per cent over the 10