22 June 2017

Testimony of Vong Phan, rice grower in the Tonle Sap lake area in Cambodia

Vong Phan is involved with WCS in the project ‘Empowering rice farmers to manage a threatened grassland ecosystem’ in Cambodia.

He is a farmer and uses the SRP (Sustainable Rice Platform) like nearly 200 other farmers in the target area. This rice farming scheme is sustainable (no use of chemicals and of inappropriate cropping practices) and notably aims to protect the grassland habitat of the Critically Endangered Bengal Florican, the target specie of the project. SRP rice is sold with a premium price to selective markets.

« I was given this land by the government more than 20 years ago because I had no land to farm; this is all that I have. I like living here because there is a school nearby that my children go to.

I am taking part in this project because I am poor and I think that it will help me to be able to get a better price for my rice if it is grown better. I also hope that I can get better yields and I appreciate the support that the project is giving me.

I can already see that my rice is growing better because the seed is better, and I have been taught how to improve my crop without using chemicals.

I am concerned about the future because of climate change. Many other people from the village are leaving to work in garment factories near to Phnom Penh. »

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