Farmer Diary Recording Gives Profit And Production Knowledge
Breakthrough of diary recording causes agricultural transformation for rice farmer
Mr. Meas Than, 52 years old, a family man and farmer, lives in Kampong Vang village, Brolay commune, Stoung district, Kampong Thom province. Mr. Than has been growing rice for the entirety of his life and rice production acts as the most important source of food and income generation for his family. From planting to harvest season, he never had recorded the expenditure or profit of rice production activities. He never prepared a crop calendar for rice growing, did not engage in budget planning, and certainly did not know if paddy production was earning him profit.
He decided to register with the SRP project to improve the sustainability of his rice. He was recognized as a Key Farmer for Kampong Vang Village and was trained by the Cambodian Rural Development Team on Farmer Diary Recording. This training was funded by the Wildlife Conservation Society. Mr. Than learned to separate his rice farm into 3 different plots. For each plot, he began recording the activities and expenditure in his production; amount spent (792,000 R), total income (684,000 R), and amount lost (108,000 R).
For farmers, having the skillset to record has a huge impact on thinking and attitude. With their new techniques, they can identify problems and find new innovations and methodology to improve their agriculture and engage in other activities that will improve their living standard. This progression in thought and behavior enables farmers to increase their income. Another advantage of this development, is that agriculture officers and NGOs now have knowledge of the capacities of individual farmers. The reliable farmer diary records allow SRP, CRDT, and millers/traders to evaluate the quality of rice, pesticide use, abuse of child labor, land using, and soil nutrients.
Mr. Meas Than talks about his experiences; “Recording in this diary gave us knowledge of the profit and loss of our rice producing. Now, other farmers are encouraged to create their own farmer diaries.” Than believes that all farmers in Cambodia should be recording all of their agricultural activities.
Written by Sat Virak
CRDT Agriculture Specialist