On 28-29 August 2008, I and Mr. Kin Mengse have attended the national conference on livestock production at Royal Academic of Cambodia. We were also invited to be the speakers among the others during conference. The topics we have presented as the ecological chicken raising (ECR) and the project that we are implementing, named Avian Influenza Behavior Change (AIBC). It is to note that the purpose of the conference is to find out the strategy of promoting livestock production in Cambodia. There were many different participants joint the conference such as small-scale farmers, commercial farmers, students, lecturers for universities, government officials, NGOs, etc participated actively in the conference. H.E.Dr. Chan Sarun, minister of ministry of agriculture, was presided the conference. 14 speakers were invited to present their topics one-by-one, those topics are involved of the issue of livestock in Cambodia, including the production process and market opportunity. Several highlighted topics are indicated as follows:
– General situation of livestock production in Cambodia, policy, constraints and strategy
– Nutrients composition in animal feed
– Ecological Chicken Raising (ECR)
– Avian Influenza -Experience of extension on Avian Influenza
– Problem faced by the pig association
– Experience of raising pig – Bio-security in pig farm and
After participation of this conference for one day and a half, I could learn something new as follows:
– I could know that Cambodia in fact has good potential to increase the agricultural production for market supply meanwhile the exported agricultural products from Vietnam and Thailand are hugely imported, this is to indicate that the domestic products is not enough for the demand. However, we need to ensure that a good condition of agricultural production especially for the small-scale farmers should be enlarged. For example, Cambodian producers is facing to highly expense on external agricultural inputs so that they can not sell their product at lower price comparing to the products exported from neighboring countries that being sold at the lower price than domestic products. Can you guess why? Because the input supply for the production is not cost much in our country.
– I could note about the problems facing by the pig farmer association to say that they can produce pigs but there are nobody come to buy their pigs. To me, I think that this is because of they only play role as the pig producers by doing so that they are not able to control the whole process of market chain. For example, if they have their own slaughter house, they may be able to sell their pig, they can sell meat instead of live pigs, not the live pigs. The pig association should expand their marketing strategy to sell their products for the market.
– I understand that animal feed is a very big opportunity for business even though there are some companies are promoting their produced feed to consumers. Most of farmer producers need productive feed for the growth of their animals especially the commercial farms, but those feeds are the external inputs so that it is not good to serve the benefit of domestic feed producers. If we can train farmers to produce their own feed so that we can help to improve the family agriculture, or we can produce the additional animal feed that is fit to the condition of those families.
– One among 5 recommendations to the royal government of Cambodia is to recommend that the RGC should provide incentives support to farmers such as animal breeds, seeds, etc. I think that such recommendation is not good to make farmers to be self-reliant. I think that it is better if we don’t provide them the seed, breed but farmers themselves are affordable to buy those inputs. The importance is in fact the knowledge and spirit of changing from subsistence farmers to commercial farmers, if they really want to change, they really can do by them own.
– To me, think that it is really good if the problem of farmer producers is the common problem of the royal government of Cambodia. If so, it will help to speed up the solution effectively. Additionally, the extension government officials should be strengthened in term of the knowledge and capacity of sustainable agricultural extension with a better policy support to their work.