Ethical Eats

Brought to you by Oxfam @ Queen's

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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.

Learn More!



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How Do You Feed the World?

Land grabs: land deals that happen without the free, prior, and informed consent of communities that often result in farmers being forced from their homes and families left hungry.

In most developing countries, women are primary agricultural producers, and ensure household food security. They cultivate 60-80% of the food in said countries. There are approximately 500 million small farms, supporting 2 billion people. Land deals occurring between 2000-2010 accounted to 203 million hectares—eight times the size of the UK. The effect of these land grabs can especially be since in Africa. During decolonization, Africa exported 1.3 million tonnes of food every year between 1966-1970, whereas today, Africa imports 25% of its food.

This Thursday, Oxfam @ Queen’s food security campaign will be screening the documentary “Land Rush” in Kingston Hall. By doing so, we will try to create conversation and encourage to students to ask questions about the issues surrounding these grabs.

About the film: 75% of Mali’s population are farmers, but rich nations like are leasing their land in order to establish large agribusinesses. Many Malians do not welcome these efforts, seeing them as yet another manifestation of imperialism. This documentary follows an American sugar developer Sosumar scheme – a $600 million partnership between the Government of Mali to lease 200-square kilometers of prime agricultural land for a plantation and factory. The difference is that the developer sees the involvement of the local community as key to the project’s success and partners with local farmers as contracted sugar cane growers. The scheme is not welcomed by everyone, and the Sosumar experiment comes to an end when a military coup takes place in Mali.


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