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Battambang cooperative a model for agri-growth

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Collective cultivation is helping the Tasey Samaki community. TASEY SAMAKI

Battambang cooperative a model for agri-growth

The Tasey Samaki Agricultural Cooperative (TSAC) in Battambang is a great example of the power of cooperative farming, and the economies of scale which allow it to generate productive capital.

TSAC, in Tameun commune’s Tasey village of Thma Koul district, consists of 172 farming households. It specialises in growing high quality vegetables in mesh greenhouses, with the minimum use of chemical agents. It also offers greenhouse construction services and training to other farmers.

Cooperative director Nop Nonn said TSAC was registered in 2017, with the goal of combining the member’s capital in order to produce quality vegetables more efficiently. Initially, the co-op was only able to assemble $2,000, but has grown to the point where its total capital is more than $70,000.

“We are currently involved in building greenhouses, and have a team of instructors who offer on-farm cultivation workshops to new customers. We are also involved in compost and charcoal projects, with an overall focus on producing vegetables that conform to international safety standards,” he added.

He explained that the cooperative has always aimed to produce high quality vegetables, with low microbial contamination, and selects its seeds according to the standards prescribed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Nonn noted that the present demand for ‘safe’ vegetables outweighed supply, with markets in Phnom Penh, Battambang, Banteay Meanchey and Siem Reap crying out for more produce.

“Currently, the market could take up to two tonnes of vegetables, but we can only deliver from 300kg to 500kg. Unfortunately, unseasonably high temperatures have caused our yields to decline,” he added.

He said TSAC earns an average of between $5,000 and $7,000 per month from the sale of vegetables.

In addition, it builds 80 or 100 mesh greenhouses for farmers in other provinces each month.

“Depending on the size of the greenhouse, we charge around $2,500 per greenhouse. Of course, the price also depends on how far we have to travel,” said Nonn.

“We market the vegetables of the collective and arrange for sales contracts, as well as finding clients for our greenhouse construction business. Most of our members also have their own additional occupation and secondary farmland as well,” he added.


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