Oxfam America has recently done a story on a new rice intensification system in Cambodia.
What has changed in the way rice is grown in Cambodia?
-5 Years ago a women learned different techniques on how to grow rice
-She tested these techniques on small areas of her land and slowly began to incorporate these techniques across her land
-In 2010 the women attended training sessions with Oxfam’s partner RACHANA and learned about the system of Rice intensification (SRI)
Whats is SRI?
-Is a method aimed at increasing the yield of rice production in farming
-Low-tech, low-cost way of growing rice that concentrates on quality rather than quantity of rice seeds, seeding and plants
-Planting each seed individually in rows can help farmers use a mechanical weeder in between rows so they can save time and use less water to flood the field to control weeds
-SRI works well because plants have more space between them so they can grow bigger and produce more grains of rice
-They have stronger roots that help withstand higher winds and rains so that they do not bend and break
-They are also less vulnerable to destructive pests which allows farmers to to use less pesticides saving both money and the environment
-Trains farmers by assembling farmer field schools
-Each group has a farmer promoter who gets special training and ongoing advice from group members
-RACHANA is creating a new environment for farmers to learn from each other, and to try new ideas
Standards of living have improved!!
With the use of SRI and RACHANA’s efforts to create a way for farmers to learn from each other and improve, the standard of living in Cambodia has improved. Several farmers have been able to save money, people are planting only twice a year and growing more, people have enough to eat and farmers life are improving.