Expectations to increase crop yields as well as improve the livelihoods of members who are Sen Kra Ob (SKO) paddy producers of the Kampong Preang Agriculture Cooperative (AC) are linked with efforts to increase the SKO seed production and continue to produce sustainable rice under the contract farming between this AC and the AMRU Rice Company.
Located in Os Touk village, Kampong Preang commune, Sangke district, Battambang province, Kampong Preang AC has partnered in contract farming with Amru Rice since 2017. For this 2020, the contract farming between this AC and Amru rice was signed in July, to supply the Sen kra Ob paddy 4000 tonnes.
Kampong Preang AC was established in 2012 with 74 members, and up until now, there are 246 members. This AC has 1,600 hectares of rice planting land, mainly focusing on SKO variety and Sro ngae variety.
This Kampong Preang AC is one of the 8 ACs that have signed in contract farming on Sustainable Rice supply to Amru Rice on July 10, 2020, in Battambong province. The 8 ACs consist of 1000 members in total who are Sen Kraob and Pka Romdoul paddy production. The overall cultivated production area of these 8 ACs is 4545 hectares, and the expected yields is 18000 tonnes.
According to the president of the Kampong Preang AC, Mr. Yang Thy, after signing the contract farming, Kampong Preang AC has been starting to produce 240 kilograms of SKO seeds on the 4 hectares of land. He said that “Due to the market demand for quality paddy for rice export, this year project to distribute this seed is focusing on strengthening the sustainable rice. There are ways to make this seed available to all members, so we discussed how to lower the price so that members can afford it, even the community is less profitable. Because back then, we sold seeds for 2.5 million riels to 2 million 70 thousand riels per ton, but now we sell to members at the lower price, for only 1 million and 8 thousand riels per ton. Therefore, members can afford to buy and use it; this quality seed foundation will profit the paddy.
Mr. Korng Khoeurng, Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) and Contract farming Manager of Amru Rice, said that the SKO foundation seed that the Kampong Preang AC has been producing will be planted on 200 hectares of land as the certified seed, with an expected yield of 800 tons. After that, the certified SKO seed will be planted as fodder rice on an area of about 10,000 hectares.
Contract farming is the bridge to build trust between ACs and rice mills/export companies to create a sustainable and profitable rice market for farmers as well as for companies in exporting quality rice.Mr. Korng Khoeurng, SRP and Contract farming manager
contract farming is very important for the AC as well as the members who are the producers. For instance, during the harvest time, when we have a contract, we have a fixed price and value-added, so the broker does not dare to bid to threaten the AC as they used to be before. They used to come to buy once and stop to threaten farmers. Members told me that brokers only come once in a while, but when we make a contract, the price is reasonable. It will be easy to manage the production market of members and also high profit likely 10$ per tons more than the market priceMr. Yang Thy, Kampong Preang AC’s president
Moreover, Mr. Korng Khoeurng expressed his perspective toward the contract farming that “it will ensure the sustainable supply chain, ensure the quality of paddy and rice, improve the quality responsibilities, ensure the farmers’ trusts, and ease the technical providence to farmers. This could help to transform them (farmers) to be smart agri-business farmers. This will improve and expand the pure seed production capacities, and profit to the pure quality rice following the international standard from having enough raw materials for production and market supplies.
The production of this seed foundation gets the support of technical training from the Battambang Provincial Department of Agriculture, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), including training, monitoring, and evaluation.
In terms of the characteristics of SKO, it is a non-seasonal fragrant rice variety and one of the most successful rice varieties, because it is soft, fragrant, and in good shape, especially, it’s popular among foreign consumers. The export of Cambodian fragrant rice (SKO) to international markets in the first nine months of 2020 is more than 100,000 tons out of nearly 490,000 Tons of total exports.