Meet with our IBIS Rice farmer, uncle San Art

San Art lives with four kids and his wife, they live in Srae Chrey Village, Norng Khileuk Commune, Koah Nheaek lumphat District, in Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary in Mondulkiri province. Before joining with SMP-IBIS Rice program, San Art did the rice farm like everyone else in the village, yet the benefit he received from the market is really low, and could not support his family’s condition for the effort he put into farming. In the past, people in the village were likely to do farming by using chemical fertilizers and selling out at low prices, things changed once the IBIS Rice project spread in our community.

San Art registered to be part of the IBIS Rice program in 2021, he stated, “I decided to join as an IBIS Rice member because I believe that I will have better yield by the end of the harvest season. Moreover, my paddy rice will be guaranteed to purchase in the high prince if I produce it correctly.” In 2021, uncle Art made more than 2 tons of rice and sold it for almost 1tons at the price of 1900R/kg, he additionally got an incentive on top of the benefit.

During the cultivation season, uncle Art finds it challenging regarding the shortage of water and other pest management which are the cause of insects. He added, “This is the right moment where SMP agronomy come in and provide with training including water management, natural composting, natural pesticide, pest and nutrition management, and other agriculture technique”. Uncle Art claims that the result of the rice is steadily increase comparing to the previous years before joining the project. In his first year of the project, uncle Art did not ready to produce any natural pesticide; yet in the next year’s cycle of 2023, he is willing to join with other farmers to produce those pesticides. This interview has been done remotely during harvesting; he excitedly said, “I can see the result this year is even much better compared to last year because I was trying to manage better and trying to stick to the rule and techniques of rice cultivation.”

There are non-IBIS Rice farmers in the village and uncle Art would encourage them to participate with this message, “Joining with the IBIS Rice program will bring huge benefit to you. Firstly, the right technique from pre-harvesting to post-harvesting. Secondly, the rice product is guaranteed to purchase at a much higher price compared to the market price; on top of that, we got to contribute to the work of conservation at the same time.”