“In the past, farmers could only grow rice for their meal, but now they have sold it to the company, making their life prosperous by profitable and more flexible.”Sam Chheang, president of Samaki Rong Roeung Agricultural Cooperative
Samaki Rongroeung community, consisted of 96 members producing organic rice in Preah Vihear province are now on the way of more prosperous than before, as their agricultural products have a sufficient and sustainable market after contracted with Amru Rice, one of the top exporting companies, focusing on organic and sustainable rice.
Mr. Sam Chheang, head of Samaki Rong Roeung Agricultural Cooperative (AC), located in Thnal Keng Village, Rong Roeung Commune, Rovieng District, Preah Vihear Province, said that most of the people in his AC are more engaged in agriculture, growing rice and cashew nuts, and those 96 families have signed the contracts to produce organic rice for Amru Rice company.
He said that after signing the contract to produce organic rice, his family’s life as well as the AC members’ have changed positively. “In the past, farmers could only grow rice for their meal, but now they have sold it to the company, making their life prosperous by profitable and more flexible,” he said.
Before Sam Chheang and his AC did not receive this organic rice project, their livelihood was not very prosperous as their rice crop did not have enough market to sell, with paddy prices fluctuating and rising up and down by brokers, and middle men. In particular, the organic rice that the AC grows today has a sustainable market and the income from farming is about twenty percent higher than the conventional rice they used to grow.
As for organic rice cultivation, it is not much different from conventional rice cultivation, where farmers are required to grow rice naturally without the use of chemical fertilizers, take good care of the rice and select high-value rice seed varieties with marketable. He added that in addition to having a sufficient market for rice exports, Amru Rice has also trained his AC on the techniques of growing organic rice with high yields.
“I have been growing organic rice for almost five years now, and people in my community are turning their farming to organic, and the number of interested members is also increasing every year.”said Sam Chheang.
Samaki Rung Reoung is one of the AC that has signed the contract farming to supply the Pka Rumdul and Premium White rice varieties in the amount of more than 200 tons to Amru Rice Company under the coordination from the Preah Vihear Provincial Department of Agriculture Forestry, and Fisheries.
In 2020, Amru Rice bought about 15,000 tonnes of organic rice, Phkar Romduol and white rice from farmers. Amru Rice offers the premium price to farmers who grow organic rice, where they get an additional 15% to 30% or at least value-added between 170 To 250 riel per kilogram above the market price in the local area. It’s mean that farmers will get more income from organic rice than the conventional rice. In 2020, for Organic Pka Romdoul variety, Amru offers price in between 1270 Riles to 1550 Riels per kilogram.