In 2006, Srey Krong Reach village was selected and identified as target village of CEDAC to introduce the ecological System of Rice Intensification (SRI technique) through implementing a project named “Sustainable Rice-base Livelihood System for Small farmers in Takeo and Kampong Speu” that was provided by EED. In 2006, there were 2 famers, including one woman, among 162 families, experimented SRI. Up to the wet season of 2010, 156 families among 196 families in the village have applied SRI.
Transplanting healthy seedling (big and young seedlings), transplanting one or two seedlings per clump, shallow root transplanting, and transplanting in row or square pattern and wider spacing, increase in the amount of natural manure while decrease in the use of chemical fertilizer etc were the popular techniques applied by farmers in the village. It is important to notice that all farmers in the village have reduced the amount of rice seed as well as reduced seedbed size.
Previously, 80 families in the village could not produce enough rice for household consumption for 3-6 months per year. But the number of families who could not produced sufficient food has reduced after the practice of SRI. Now, there are only 40 families that cannot produce sufficient rice for consumption from 3 to 4 months per year. In general, there are many members in the food shortage families and small landholding.
In addition, through the SRI practice, farmers can reduce the expense on production cost because they can reduce/eliminate expense on chemical fertilizers and external seeds, which result in increase in incomes.
Mrs. Meng Pao is a cooperating farmer of CEDAC and is the one among two farmers who have firstly applied SRI in the village. The progress of her SRI practices in the beginning up to now is presented below:
Table 1: Change of the rice production systems of Mrs. Meng Pao
|Rice field||0.84 ha||0.80 ha||4 percent decreased because she contributed a piece of land to her children.|
|Total rice production||2.1 t||4.05 t||92 percent increased|
|Yield (Ton per hectare)||2.5 t/ha||5.06 t/ha||102 percent increased|
|Total amount of chemical fertlizer used||150 kg||0|
|Use of seeds||96 kg||15 kg||84 percent decreased|
|Total amount of organicfertilizer used||1.5 t||3 to 4 t||At least double amount of organic fertilizer produced as he is now has slurry from bio-digestor plant.|
|Green manure cropping and crop rotation||No||watermelon and sesame|
In 2006, she experimented SRI in a plot of 0.05 ha and harvested 250 kg which was equal to 6 t/ha. In addition, she expressed that she reduces time, labor, rice seed, and get higher yield through the SRI practice.
In 2007, she applied SRI in all of her 0.84 ha rice field and stopped using chemical fertilizer. For the rainy season in 2011, she expects that her rice production will further increase thanks to increase/improve in organic fertlizers, green manure and seed purification.
According to the experience of Ms. Meng Pao, rice transplanting and rice harvesting days are really good to attract more farmers in applying SRI because they can learn and see the result from SRI practices comparing to their conventional practices. In addition, the demonstration site should be located near to crowded place where villagers, local authorities and other people can see and learn. By doing this way, the number of SRI farmers would be increased from year to year.
By Ung Vuthy, 23 July, 2011