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Farming: a story of women. Encounter with Chey Han.

[12-01-2015]

Mrs. Chey Han is a 58-year-old farmer living in Takeo province, around 70 Km from Phnom Penh. She has 6 children including 3 daughters. Agriculture is her main activity. She has been working on rice production for 43 years.

Not only a farmer...

Besides her farming activities, Chey Han is a member of Trapaing Sror Nger cooperative and the head of a saving group. She is enthusiastic about her role in the cooperative. “I think I have good experience and knowledge and I’m confident that I can help the cooperative and make the living condition of other members better”.

Before joining the cooperative, she used to work 6 years as a farmer promoter for System of Rice Intensification, Home Garden and Multi-purpose farm. She leads a saving group with 24 members created since 2004. This saving group provides small loan with low interest rate to members who have difficulty to get access to micro finance institution.

The benefits of producing and selling her own rice seeds

Chey Han has 1.5 hectares of land producing 3,500 kg of rice per year. This quantity of rice is just enough to support her family only for own consumption. With technical support from AFSA[1] since 2013, she has learned inbred rice seed multiplication techniques and then tested to multiply Phkar Rumdoul rice seed on the surface 0.10 ha. Through implementing inbred rice seed multiplication techniques, the rice yield is higher than before. On 0.10 hectare of land, she could get 384kg of rice seed, 93kg higher comparing to the productivity that she had used her own techniques (without any support from AFSA).

In rice production, Chey Han is in charge of preparing production plan, collecting natural fertilizer, rice transplanting, harvesting, post-harvesting and finding market. She think that rice is the heart of Cambodian farmers and women should involve more on farming activities to get better outputs.

"Before, women do only house work such as cooking and taking care of children and men do agriculture work. But this kind of thing doesn’t work today. To be a prosper family, men need help from women and therefore, the role of women become more important today", confides Chey Han.

Chey Han sells her rice seed at 0.45 USD/Kg to the cooperatives who resells to others at 0.75 USD/Kg. This selling price is much higher than normal paddy she used to cultivate before. Comparing with the quality of seed produced by AQIP Company, she said her seed has similar quality but lower price, which could help farmers to access good quality of seed that can improve the yield.


Legend: Meeting at Trapaing Sror Nger cooperative

[1] Project of ADG in Cambodia on Family Farming and Food Sovereignty