The Department of Commerce of Stung Treng Province, as a subordinate province of the Office of the Eastern and Northeastern Districts of the Accelerating Inclusive Markets for Smallholders Project (AIMS), has been carrying out its duties of disseminating guidance as well as providing advice to the target farmers in Stung Treng province from 2018 to present on 60 groups of cassava, rice, chicken, rice and vegetables, equivalent to 26 business clusters, including 4 groups of vegetables, 95 members, 70 females, 2 groups of rice, 161 members, 118 females 15 groups of cassava, 795 members, 515 females and 39 chickens, 1,836 members, 1,397 females.
Sesan district is the second largest district after Siem Pang among districts in Stung Treng province, bordering on the east by Vern Sai and Kon Mom districts of Ratanakkiri province, on the west by Stung Treng town, on the north by Siem Pang and on the south by Koh Nhek district of Mondulkiri province and Sambo district of Kratie province. Sesan district is divided into 7 communes and 22 villages with a total area of 2,499 square kilometers and a population density of 9.83 or 10 people per square kilometer. About 93% of the population are farmers, relying on agriculture as the main source of livelihood for the
people of Sesan district, and up to 41.4% are women in this sector. In addition to growing crops and raising livestock, which are the main source of income, there are also other sectors such as services and handicrafts, which are small family businesses, accounting for 6.6% of the total population, which is the basis for creating jobs for the people.
The total rice area in Sesan district is 10,318.4 hectares, which can produce about 15,857.6 tons of rice. The per capita income is $ 802.4 from raising long-term and short-term crops. The income from animal husbandry is 110 US dollars and 37.8 US dollars from short-term cultivation. 59% of households raise chickens and 23% raise ducks, which is a fast-growing occupation that promotes family income.
In 2022, Sesan district has a total population of 24,107 people, of which more than half are 52.51% or 12,659 women. The district has 6,561 households, with 6.2% women head of household and an annual growth rate of 5.7%. The main ethnic groups are Pnong, Kreung and Preu, with 371 families, equivalent to 1,499 people. By 2020, Sesan district only have 230 people, or 1.6%, which 207 people, or 1.4%, are migrate in country, and 23 people, or 0.2%, are migrate overseas of the active population.
The Kamphoun chicken producer organization in Sesan district Stung Treng province has been compiled by the Accelerating Inclusive Markets for Smallholders of Provincial Department of Commerce, consisting of five producer organizations: one vegetable POs and four rice POs about 140 families participated. Most of the women have taken up raising backyard chickens and growing vegetables as a core business to help earn income to improve their family life better. Raising backyard chickens and growing vegetables is a popular occupation for our Cambodian farmers, especially homemakers, because raising chickens and growing vegetables is easy for both men and homemakers for taking good care of them when they are free from work, housework for the family, or after other occupations.
In 2020, Sesan district received sector development facilities of four motorized pump wells from the Provincial Department of Commerce’s Accelerating Inclusive Markets for Smallholders Project for farmers growing vegetables and raising backyard chickens in Sam Khuy commune Kamphoun and Phluk commune. In 2021, Kamphoun commune is the only commune with great potential for chicken production which selected by the project team to build a chicken slaughterhouse to solve the problem of obstructing the broiler market of farmers, members of the Kamphoun commune chicken business cluster to have a better life.
Mrs. Keo Sopheany, 39 years old, is married to Nat Bunchan and has 3 children, 2 girls and 1 boy, living in Kamphun Village, Kamphun Commune, Sesan district, Stung Treng province. She is currently the head of the Kamphun chicken PO. She is a model chicken farmer and a business facilitator.
In the past, Ms. Keo Sopheany raised only 20 to 30 backyard chickens, and sometimes the chickens gradually died out of the cage. She want to stop that business, because it is not worth to spend all the money, losing time and maintenance. After the presence of the Accelerating Inclusive Markets for Smallholders Project joined with the Royal Government of Cambodia and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) implemented directly by the working group of the Stung Treng Provincial Department of Commerce as a staff of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries intervened to form a cluster of farm chickens by market facilitating and advising her as well as mobilizing other members. Especially the women in the commune, most of whom are very interested in cropping and raising animals in the past, to participate in the re-production of chickens, with training on how to raise chickens through the guidance of technical partners of AIMS Project and ASPIRE Program, Market Analysis and Profit, etc. She is also interested in raising chickens in accordance with technical standards. The first step was to try to raise 350 chickens for three and a half months, selling for 7,735,000 riels. She paid the total initial expenses of 4,650,000 riels and made a profit of 3,085,000 riels. In the second step, she expanded and designed the cage to a clearer and larger standard, with an additional capacity of 750 chickens. “I kept raising animals by accident without any technical knowledge,” she said. “After participating in the AIMS project of the Provincial Department of Commerce and the ASPIRE program of the Provincial Department of Agriculture, I learned animal husbandry techniques such as cage preparation, breeding, mixing and feeding, vaccination and production chain analysis.” Mrs. Keo Sopheany and her group members gained good knowledge and experience in the production of backyard chickens and will continuously to raise, despite the changing market price situation.
Mrs. Keo Sopheany said, “Now, through the AIMS project of the Department of Commerce, some of Kamphun chicken PO business cluster have received a value chain innovation fund, which is a partial grant, as well as knowledge supporting of chicken raising techniques, which is an important mechanism to support and promote the production and economic growth of farmers, members of the business cluster to grow. At the same time, the Kamphoun chicken business cluster also received a chicken slaughterhouse for plucking chickens to supply farm chickens to the market in Stung Treng province. Through these generous donations, she, as well as members of the general production team and the entire community, were able to create a new business venture to supplement the existing income in their daily lives in the community in particular has eased the burden on our farmers.
Most of whom are housewives who do not go out to work or work far away from home, so that they can earn money by raising chickens using this slaughterhouse. She says that compared to the previous situation, it is very different in terms of raising and selling products. Finally, she thanked the project management and management, especially the AIMS project team of the Department of Commerce, together with the ASPIRE program of the Stung Treng Provincial Department of Agriculture, for coming down to organize this project and providing good knowledge and experience in producing field chickens for me and the members of the field chicken production team until I became a model family producing field chickens and especially thank the Department of Commerce, Department of Agriculture and the team. Who is a supporter from the production side and helps to find a market for them forever.
The cooperation, support and encouragement of local authorities has clearly demonstrated the many achievements, especially reflecting the willingness to cooperate in the implementation of programs and projects to work together to produce backyard chickens for market supply and safety for the consumers helps increase household income, increase production productivity, meet the objectives of the project, promote environmentally friendly growth in the market and for high-value agricultural products, and develop local clusters where poor smallholder farmers in particular women can benefit together.
The Royal Government and its partner projects under the umbrella of the International Fund for Agricultural Development have been encouraging farmers to strive to produce backyard chickens to become entrepreneurs by operating a standard broiler business to meet the growing market demand up of domestic consumption with quality and safety. At the same time, some farmers, traders and private companies have been involved in raising the value chain of backyard chickens through raising, which can take the opportunity to expand production potential to reach local and foreign distribution, especially towards hold the market in Phnom Penh and abroad as well.