001 – Agricultural Sustainability through Compost

 HOW KNOWLEDGE OF ONE MAN HELPS ONE VILLAGE

It all started in 2008 when Uncle Him Sat, who is now a retired teacher saw more and more downsides of the chemically-processed fertilizer that he had used. In addition to poor quality rice, the fertilizer made his land harder, thus made it very difficult to plow. After talking to some people he knew who are knowledgeable about farming technique, he went on a training course about compost-making, which turned out to be the best solution to his problem!

From this training, he realized that all it takes are: Siam weed, cow dunks, and waste from the toilet to make nurturing compost. On top of that, all these components can easily be found for free all over the village. Thanks to what he calls the “Magic Fertilizer”, the quality of Uncle Sat’s yield has become better than ever, but most importantly, compost saves his beloved land from turning barren. Seeing such obvious benefits, more and more villagers have come to ask Uncle Sat about compost-making and utilization, and now almost every family in his village is using compost for their rice-planting. “Without compost, my land wouldn’t be this soft and my rice also wouldn’t be this delicious!” said Aunty Moeun, one of the many villagers, who learns about the compost-making from Uncle Sat.

Uncle Sat explains the process of making compost. “All you need to do is correctly follow the process and be hard-working! It is a bit of work, but this “Magic Fertilizer” does not cost us any money! What else do we want?”

Siam weeds: “This pant and cow dunks are two of the most important components to make compost. We don’t even plant them. They just grow all over the village. Besides, people can also use corn stalks, chicken’s feces, leaves, and ashes from the kitchen!” said Uncle Sat.

Uncle Sat’s wife, Aunty Kun, stands at the rice field where she has just put the compost in. “The land has become softer to plow and to plant rice since we started using compost!” she said. She and her husband are called the “Outstanding farmers” because of their introducing a more sustainable alternative of fertilizers to their fellow farmers in the village.

Aunty Moeun, who learns about compost-making from uncle Sat describes the benefits of compost while planting her new seedlings: “In addition to the agricultural benefits, it also contributes to the hygiene, because compost-making has led many families to build dry-toilets so as to make it easier to stock the human waste to make compost!” said Aunty Moeun.

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38 responses to “001 – Agricultural Sustainability through Compost

  1. But can compost substitute chemical fertilizer? Many farmers nowadays still use chemical one because it is better! My agri teacher told me we can only use compost for small size plantation! Rice field is too big and compost is not the best choice!

  2. @Chiva: Your point maybe valid in certain cases, but as the writer mentioned, this is a clear exampel that natural compost can be sufficient to use for farming! Chemical one can be harmful, esp when used by farmers who are illiterate!

  3. Many nice photos here!

    To respond to the comments about the ideas regarding the use of compost for either small or big scale purposes, I just 1 2 weigh in that in VN, many farmers use both. I understand there are some impact if used incorrectly, but we cannot deny that chemical fertllizer can siginificantly increase the product. This is what I am in Cambodia for! To promote the image of chemical fertilizer, so the farmers have a more positive idea about it.

  4. Dear admin,
    Can I use some of these images as my wallpaper. I like the last one. If I need to have permssion, can you give me ur email? Thx.
    Jenny.

  5. Thx Kosal for the link. There are many nice photos on that blog! About the argument above, I am Chiva’s friend, and I want to clarify his point that it is just something that we learned at school from our lecturer. I already ready the article about commericial fertilizer, and I think it proves Chiva’s point more: It works in other country, but for our country, it will take a long time and more effort both from Gov and farmers themselves.

  6. The photo of the woman standing at the end reminds me of my mother especially when it is raining like this 🙂

  7. Very inspiring story how just one person can make this much change and influence in his village. Hope there are more people like him!

  8. I think this theme fits the best to the topic of this contest – Sustainability and Environment! This entry should be the winner!

  9. With the issue of global warming becoming more and more concerning today, I think the info in this entry should be promoted to as many people in Cambodia as possible, especially given the the fact that the majority of the people in our country are farmers! I think this should be the winning entry since it focuses beyond the current issue of agriculture, it digs deeper to the the more current issues such as global warming, waste management, the proactive spirit of the lower middle class, and many more!

  10. This piece deserves to be on the top of the list! It is very admirable that one farmer has such good heart and commitment to make a change to status quo! He sees a problem and he solves it, example of the can-do spirit that everyone, not just the honorable farmers of Cambodia, should have! My applause to the author for putting a spotlight to this admiring man and his family for their effort to their community! I am touched! – Reangsey Kov

  11. Why isn’t compost used all over the country of Cambodia, I still don’t understand! Hope this article can influence ppl to know more about this ! We have good natural resources to grow more rice in our country without having to import fertilizer from the neighboring country!

  12. This is what I love about the people in the countryside! They share everything and expect next to nothing in return! Such good hearts! My applause to all those “Outstanding Farmers” out there 😀

  13. The government should promote about natural fertilizer more~! It’s embarrassing that one man can make such a big revoluntion by himself without the govt’s support!

  14. Keep up the good work! There should be more contests like these! Love the last photo the best! And thx the earlier commenter. That blog is really interesting! A lot of pics of Cambodian farmer life! Make me homesick 😦

  15. This themem touches on many more topic than just natural compost fertilizer. It is concerned with global warming, citizen’s iniative, waste management, community spirit, and many more! I fully suport this entry! All the best!

  16. I really like your blog: camcompost.wordpress.com! Thx Muy Eng for recommending it to me 🙂 All the best to the author!

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