Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Takeo farmer’s diversification bet pays off

Takeo farmer’s diversification bet pays off

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A team from the Ministry of Rural Development and Agrisud International Cambodia visit an agricultural cooperative in Takeo province’s Kiri Vong district early March. AGRISUD

Takeo farmer’s diversification bet pays off

A farmer in Takeo province is reaping the benefits of diversification on his 1.6ha land in Borei Cholsar district. Previously, Sem Savry grew three crops of rice a year, but now, in addition to his rice, he feeds river shrimp and geese, and grows coconuts.

Twenty-eight-year-old Savry told The Post that he initially planned to farm fish, but after meeting with specialists from the provincial Fisheries Administration (FiA) – which is under the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries – he was convinced to raise shrimp. The FiA provided him with technical support.

His farm in Doung Khpos commune’s Chrey Ngok village began as a 1.3ha section in 2020, when he first began to diversify, but after turning over $10,000 in his first year, he was able to purchase more land.

“I followed the advice of the FiA specialists and achieved outstanding yields. My income is far higher than it was when I grew only rice. Now I have four income streams – river shrimp, geese, rice and coconuts,” he said.

Savry said the training was free, and officials donated his first young shrimp. Right now, he has around 25,000 young shrimp growing, and expects to harvest between 500 and 700kg this season.

“Although the shrimp market is slightly unstable at the moment, this is not a problem for me, as I earn a steady income from my other produce,” he explained.

Thay Somony, director of Aquaculture Cambodia – the FiA’s aquaculture development department, said the practice of diversified farming is encouraged and supported by specialists in several provinces in the Mekong Delta including Kandal, Takeo, Prey Veng and Svay Rieng,

“These provinces are especially suitable for integrated agri-aquaculture. This means there is no need for farmers to rely on just one product, and thus be susceptible to changes in one market,” he said.

At last week’s annual workshop of the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centres (CGIAR) on the Asian Delta, Somony said the FiA and two other specialised institutions under the ministry – the general departments of Agriculture, and Animal Health and Production – are working together to identify technical barriers to the practice.

“The three did not previously cooperate, as each was focussed on their own specialist areas,” he said.

“Under minister Dith Tina, we now have a single unified voice. This is important, as diversification is necessary to ensure the viability of the Kingdom’s smallhold farmers,” he said.


  • Wing Bank opens new branch in front of Orkide The Royal along Street 2004

    Wing Bank celebrates first anniversary as commercial bank with launch of brand-new branch. One year since officially launching with a commercial banking licence, Wing Bank on March 14 launched a new branch in front of Orkide The Royal along Street 2004. The launch was presided over by

  • Girl from Stung Meanchey dump now college grad living in Australia

    After finishing her foundational studies at Trinity College and earning a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Melbourne in 2022, Ron Sophy, a girl who once lived at the Stung Meanchey garbage dump and scavenged for things to sell, is now working at a private

  • Ministry using ChatGPT AI to ‘ease workload’; Khmer version planned

    The Digital Government Committee is planning to make a Khmer language version of popular artificial intelligence (AI) technology ChatGPT available to the public in the near future, following extensive testing. On March 9, the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications revealed that it has been using the

  • Wat Phnom hornbills attract tourists, locals

    Thanks to the arrival of a friendly flock of great hornbills, Hour Rithy, a former aviculturist – or raiser of birds – in Kratie province turned Phnom Penh tuk tuk driver, has seen a partial return to his former profession. He has become something of a guide

  • PM urges end to ‘baseless’ international Ream base accusations

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urges an end to “baseless” foreign accusations surrounding the development of the Kingdom’s Ream Naval Base, as the US has consistently suggested that the base is being expanded to accommodate a Chinese military presence. Hun Sen renewed his calls while

  • Almost 9K tourists see equinox sunrise at Angkor Wat

    Nearly 9,000 visitors – including 2,226 international tourists – gathered at Angkor Wat on March 21 to view the spring equinox sunrise, according to a senior official of the Siem Reap provinical tourism department. Ngov Seng Kak, director of the department, said a total of 8,726 people visited Angkor Wat to