- Wetlands Alliance
A COLLECTION OF SELECTED TECHNOLOGIES AND ENTERPRISES TO SUPPORT SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF RURAL COMMUNITIES WHOSE LIVELIHOODS ARE LINKED TO THE FISHERY SECTOR An exercise by WorldFish under the Wetlands Alliance 2012 TECHNOLOGIES AND ENTERPRISES TO SUPPORT SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT OF RURAL COMMUNITIES WHOSE LIVELIHOODS ARE
LINKED TO THE FISHERY SECTOR
1. Product Name: Eel Culture
Key Facts: Rice field ecosystems can supply a diverse collection of aquatic organisms
which are gleaned for supplementing household food supplies. Rice field eels
(Monopterus albus Zuiew 1793) are found throughout Cambodia (6 species, only in Asia)
and are a popular food.
How it works The culture of paddy eels consists of harvesting of juveniles from rice
fields and rearing the young in hapas or cement tanks. Eels can be fed
trash fish, worms, snails, insects or other invertebrates but the build-up of
high Nitrogenous wastes needs to be corrected via some form of biofiltration process. The tank needs aquatic plants and layers of mud, straw
and manures for additional nutrients. The eel can tolerate low DO and
water levels, which makes it a hardy species for small scale culture.
Asian swamp eel (Monopterus albus)
Eel culture in Kampong Thom
Captured earthworms for eel bait.
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Cement eel tank construction (Philippines)
Swamp eel culture, China
Most Cambodians like to eat eels, however some are reluctant to eat
them, believing that they feed on dead bodies. Eel culture can be done in
the same wooden and tarpaulin tanks which are presently being used in
the WA project site for catfish culture. Implementation will require an onsite evaluation of possible market linkages, selection of individual target
beneficiary households, and technical and financial support. Farmer to
farmer visits to existing cases in Battambang would be useful.
Eel culture in wood and tarpaulin tanks and in ponds has been
successfully implemented in many places in Cambodia. Implementation
would require farmer-to-farmer extension approaches, with site visits by
clarias farmers from the WA project area to learn from successful eel
farmers elsewhere. Suitable sites for tanks are close to the house, on
flood free ground, and with access to water.
Investment costs are low. Eels can be raised in simple ponds, or in tanks
as illustrated, roughly a few meters in size. The wood and plastic tarp
tanks already in use by clarias farmers in the WA target area in Steung
Treng are also very suitable and in use for eel culture in Battambang and
At O Russei market in Phnom Penh, eels sell for KHR18,000/kg, or nearly
US$4.50, similar to snake-head. With their tolerance for low oxygen, eels
can be easily transported live to distant markets. Natural food for eels
includes fish fingerlings, earthworms, golden and other snails, aquatic
insects, silkworm pupae, slaughter house wastes. Silkworm pupae, if
available locally, are an excellent food for eels. Live earthworms can be
given directly to the fish. They can also be ground in the form of paste
along with other fish and/or snails.
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Eels are an indigenous and plentiful species in Cambodia, so there is no
concern re biodiversity conservation, neither from escapees nor from
danger to wild populations from capture of juveniles. Rice field eels, once
introduced into the rice fields, can serve as predator against golden snails
which have become a pest in some Asian countries, particularly the
Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Earthworm can be cultured in backyards (Vermiculture) and can be used
as supplementary feed for the eels. The compost produced by the worms
can be used as fertilizer for vegetable gardens. The eels in rice fields also
reduce the amount of insect pests thus increasing the rice production.
Khanh, N.H. and H.T.B. Ngan. 2010. Current practices of rice field eel
Monopterus albus (Zuiew, 1793) culture in Viet Nam. Aquaculture Asia
Budidaya Belut (Eel Culture-Philippines)
IIRR-IDRC-Worldfish. Small Scale Eel Culture. in Utilizing Different
Aquatic Resources for Livelihoods in Asia
Swamp Eel Fact Sheet
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2. Product Name: Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS)
SODIS is a very cheap, simple, and proven effective technology for removing pathogens
from drinking water. Only re-used PET plastic bottles and a piece of corrugated iron
sheet are necessary, with no chemicals to buy. If used correctly it dramatically reduces
incidence of diarrhea among families especially children, thus reducing women’s childcare burden. Not having to boil water also means less labor to collect firewood. As with
all water and sanitation interventions, community and family education for behavior
change is a key element of strategy for success. CARE International in Cambodia has
an on-going program for SODIS, with trained staff and educational materials. SODIS
approaches can be readily streamed into the water supply interventions already in the
Over one billion people on Earth do not have access to clean drinking
water. Several nonprofit and government organizations are promoting
low-cost, household methods for water purification. One method that has
been promulgated for many years is called solar water disinfection or
SODIS. The SODIS method involves placing low turbidity, but
biologically contaminated water into a clear bottle, and placing the bottle
in bright sunlight for six hours. Disinfection is achieved via solar UV-A
radiation penetrating the bottle and disrupting bacteria, virus, and
helminth reproduction and respiration.
To benefit from SODIS, poor people do not need to invest any money
other than for used plastic water bottles which are generally available,
and a piece of corrugated iron sheet. In many areas, water which has
been boiled is regarded as “tasting good”, and SODIS water is perceived
as having the same taste. Overly turbid water will need to be filtered, for
which simple technology is available. Cambodians in remote
communities are often uneducated concerning basic health concepts
(germ theory of disease, hand washing, maintenance and use of
latrines). Reducing the impact of diarrheal disease especially in children
requires education both in public health and in the use of available
technologies, such as SODIS and latrines.
Research experience suggests that implementation is best done by
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public education meetings and selection of motivated “early adopters” to
get a movement started in the community.
Reduction of water-borne disease in households, especially among
small children, reduces women’s care-giving burden and frees them for
more productive work. SODIS also reduces the need for fuelwood
collection. Freeing women from drudgery labor releases those energies
into other tasks for family well-being and the local economy.
Health impacts of SODIS deployment in Cambodia were recently studied
by the Royal College of Surgeons In Ireland, and CARE International in
Cambodia. 1 The report abstract is: “Recent solar disinfection (SODIS)
studies in Bolivia and S Africa have reported compliance rates below
35%, resulting in no overall statistically significant benefit associated with
disease rates. In this study we report the results of a 1-year randomized
controlled trial investigating the effect of SODIS of drinking water on the
incidence of dysentery and non-dysentery diarrhea among children of
age 6 months to 5 years living in rural communities in Cambodia. We
compared 426 children in 375 households using SODIS with 502
children in 407 households with no intervention. Study compliance was
greater than 90% with only 5% of children having less than 10 months of
follow-up, and 2.3% having less than 6 months. Adjusted for water
source type, children in the SODIS group had a reduced incidence of
dysentery, with an incidence rate ratio (IRR) of 0.50 (95% CI 0.27 to
0.93, p=0.029). SODIS also had a protective effect against nondysentery diarrhea, with an IRR of 0.37, (95% CI 0.29 to 0.48, p<0.001).
This study suggests strongly that SODIS is an effective and culturally
acceptable point-of-use water treatment method in the culture of rural
Cambodia, and may be of benefit among similar communities in
neighboring South East Asian countries.”
“A high compliance randomized controlled field trial of solar disinfection (SODIS) of drinking water
and its impact on childhood diarrhea in rural Cambodia” McGuigan, K. et al. Royal College of
Surgeons in Ireland, and Samaiyar, P., CARE International in Cambodia. Note: Some of the above
pictures are from this source, used without permission, for review purposes only, not for publication.
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Several organizations are promoting SODIS in Cambodia, including
CARE, ADRA, and Nature Healing Nature. The European Community
Humanitarian Organization (ECHO) has promoted SODIS in Cambodia
in emergency situations.
CARE has recently carried out a study of SODIS in Cambodia, in
cooperation with the Royal College of Surgeons Dublin, and still has a
team of Cambodian staff familiar with the technical and educational
aspects of SODIS implementation. Khmer language extension materials
Contact: Bill Pennington, Assistant Country Director (Programs) CARE
tel: +855 23 215 267 / 8 / 9, fax: +855 23 426 233, mobile: +855 12 222
email: [email protected], web: www.carecambodia.org
P.O. Box 537, House 6, Street 446, Toul Tompong Phnom Penh,
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3. Product Name: Bat sheltering for manure
Cambodian agricultural productivity is often limited by moisture and soil fertility. Capture
of organic matter and its return to the soil is a key supplemental livelihood activity for
farmers. Some Cambodian farmers collect bat guano (manure) for fertilizer, by building
simple artificial roosts in the sugar palms, made from palm fronds hung from a frame.
The guano is swept daily from the ground below the tree. In the Mekong delta of
Vietnam there are large thatch roof structures used for the same purpose.
How it works
Fresh bat manure quality depends primarily on whether the nesting bats
are fruit or insect eaters. The manure of both bats is extremely rich in
nutrients. Insect-eating bat manure is highly rich in nitrogen (10-3-1, NP-K, on a dry weight basis), while that of fruit-eating bats is highly
phosphate-rich (2-26-0) and contains trace elements.
Guano from fruit-eating bats contains twice as much nitrogen and 85
times more phosphorus than poultry manure on a dry weight basis.
Poultry manure is the best on-farm animal nutrient source ahead of pigs,
cattle and buffalo in descending order. Using the bat manure also allows
farmers to make better use of the finite amount of fertilizer produced by
livestock on the farm. Bat manure sells for US$1.25 kg-l (Riel 4,810 kg-l)
in central markets of Phnom Penh. Five kg of bat manure provides the
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equivalent amount of nutrients as US $2.04 (Riel 7,880) worth of urea
and triple super phosphate fertilizer. Providing a nesting substrate to
encourage colonies of fertilizer producing bats is innovative,
environmentally friendly and economically sound.
Bats provide small-holder farmers with a means of extending the area of
their resource base, as the bats cover rather large feeding territories in
their nightly feeding excursions. A bat raising project proposal is being
submitted by O’ Ta Paong commune of Pursat for support under the
Seila/Danida NREM grant to Commune Councils. The project is
planning to work initially with 5 families, to generate income for villagers
through selling bat guano.
Bats are harvested intensively in Cambodia for food/medicine. Bat
ecology research will be necessary to ensure that these important
animal populations are managed sustainably. Such studies, including
training of postgraduate students on bat research through the
development of MSc thesis projects, is now being undertaken by the
Centre for Biodiversity Conservation which is jointly managed by Fauna
& Flora International and the Royal University of Phnom Penh.
Already practiced and shown to be successful in Pursat, Kandal, Takeo,
Kampot as well as the Mekong region of Vietnam. It is highly likely that
the relevant species are present in the WA project area in NE
Cambodia, but it would require field work to confirm. Researchers at
Royal University of Phnom Penh are working on bat ecology and
husbandry (see below, Dr Furey). This group would be very interested to
cooperate with the project to implement a bat husbandry program.
Implementation is best done by the selection and survey of suitable
sites. Once these have been decided then the use of microfinance loans
to initiate start ups could be considered.
Based on economic analysis in one commune in Pursat, bat-raising
does not only generate income for individual farmers, but also others
through reducing abatement cost of insects. It is not clearly known that
what kind of insects the bats eat and what amount of insects each bat
eats. And it is not clearly known how much each farmer spends on
pesticide to kill insects destroying their crops each year. In addition, batraising contributes to the benefits of the species conservation, through
which bats play a role as an ecosystem regulator. Based on interviews in
Pursat in 2005, the cost of one bat shelter is about KHR180,000,or
US$40.. The net financial benefit from this nest is $400 per year.
Like other commodities produced and sold in the province, bat manure is
sold to middlemen who transport them to Phnom Penh. The market
asymmetric information may make middlemen reap more profits from
farmers. For instance, those, who live far away from the main road, sell
manures at a lower price than those live along with better information of
the market and better knowledge of keeping manure.
Environment The main constraints to establishing successful artificial bat roosts apart
from motivated individuals, are the presence of the right bat species and
suitable habitats. The benefits are home based income generation that
is easily tied in with other work, needs few work hours once set up, the
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production of an organic based fertilizer, natural pest control and the
conservation of bats.
There are some public health concerns in the literature concerning viral
infections carried by bats (lissavirus). Locally based international bat
specialists consulted were re-assuring on this subject, as the virus is
apparently not carried by the species of interest for this work.
Mr. Benjamin Hayes, Biodiversity (Bat) Survey and Community
Development Specialist. Freelance. Email: [email protected]
Dr Neil Furey, Bat Specialist and Head of Academic Development,
Fauna & Flora International Cambodia Programme. Email:
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4. Product Name: Wild Honey and Beekeeping.
Cambodia has extensive resources of wild honey-bee populations, which are exploited
in a traditional and unsustainable manner. Cambodian and export markets for wild forest
honey are growing rapidly.
Honeybees are a keystone element of sustainable forest management because they are
the pollinators of about 30% of forest tree species – “no bees, no forests”. In the wet
season, the main species migrate to wetland areas.
Inexpensive improved traditional technologies are available for husbandry of the main
Cambodian species of honeybee. With support from NGOs and some development
partners, community groups in Cambodia are beginning to manage the exploitation of
bee resources, especially in community forests, and incomes of honey hunters are
CEPA and Oxfam GB have done some work on wild honey in O’Svay commune in the
project area, but progress has been slow due to lack of capacity and resources.
How it works In Cambodia, honeybees play a role in rural livelihoods from the sale of
honey, wax, and brood (bee larvae, an expensive delicacy). Because of
the seasonal nature of honey hunting and the informality of the supply
chain, it is usually overlooked in surveys. In some locations the bee
colonies are harvested under some form of traditional management, in
others the colonies are taken by anyone who finds them, and often
destroyed in the harvesting procedure. Wild honey is an important cash
source for many people in biodiversity rich forest areas in Cambodia,
especially the wetlands and upland areas.
Forests and Community Fisheries offer the best strategy for organizing
and managing the honey harvest, because the community-based social
capital is already in place.
Honey hunting is practiced by many rural residents in Cambodia in areas
where there are still sufficient tall trees and adequate bee forage to
attract migratory swarms of bees.
Most of the wild honey consumed in Cambodia comes from the efforts of
honey hunters working in primary and second-growth forests, who either
opportunistically harvest nests upon discovery while doing other work in
the forest, or actively search out nests as a part-time profession.
Few (if any) people derive their sole income from honey hunting. Most
honey hunting is done in a non-sustainable fashion by either
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professionals or opportunists. The professionals appear to have a
greater appreciation for the value of the bees and may be potential
candidates for learning sustainable harvest techniques. The opportunists
are a less likely target, and may be a constraint on sustainable
Artificial nesting sites (“rafters”) are sometimes used to attract and make
accessible the migrant wild honeybee populations (Apis dorsata).
Another species (Apis cerana, Khmer: pruit) is amenable to keeping in
simple “top bar” box hives. This technology is well developed in
The stingless bees (Trigona sp.) are present in the Cambodian
environment but are not much exploited. Honey from stingless bees can
be sold at high prices for Chinese medicinal purposes. Stingless bees
can be kept in coconut shell hives near the house, and managed safely
by children. There are local experts in the culture of stingless bees in
Banteay Srei, Siem Reap province.
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Honey projects are being successfully implemented in many parts of
Cambodia. Implementation of a honey program in the target area will
1. Resource assessment, done by interview of honey hunters and field
2. Organization and training of community groups to manage
3. Development of marketing arrangements with suitable buyers
These processes are best implemented by organizations with
experience, and through exchange visits with successful projects in
other parts of the country. The social enterprise Nature Wild is
coordinating much of this activity in Cambodia, and could be called upon
In 2009, a typical “farm-gate” price paid to honey hunters in Cambodia
averaged US$4.95 per kg). At the supermarket level prices for
processed and bottled Cambodian honey was about US$12 per kg
Implementation costs will be very site and species specific. Practical
advice relevant to any specific location can be obtained from the sources
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Honeybees have been co-evolving with the flowering plants for six to ten
million years. Many plant species in the tropical forests are totally
dependent on honeybees for their pollination and therefore for the
survival of their populations. This places honeybees in the role of
keystone species in those forests, i.e. those species that perform a role
critical to the maintenance, sustainability and biodiversity of habitats.
Their removal can have severe impacts on the viability of other species
(no bees – eventually no forest). Therefore investment in sustainable
manage of bee resources by local residents will contribute to
maintenance of forests .
NatureWild is an enterprise and marketing support service provider
initiated by the Cambodia programme of NTFP-EP for South and
Southeast Asia in late 2008 Naturewild directly assists its local network
partners particularly community based NTFP enterprises and
NGO/social enterprise initiatives. It has since been moving towards more
specialized and focused support services, including product research,
technical assistance and training, and market development and branding
Nature Wild is working with The Cambodian Federation for Bee
Conservation and Community Based Wild Honey Enterprises, to develop
product standards and organized marketing arrangements.
Ms Uch Sophay, Marketing Officer
E-mail: [email protected]
Mobile: +855 92 286 306
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5. Product Name: Reservoir Fishery: Culture-based Capture
Key Facts: Cambodia, especially Stung Treng and Kratie provinces, have irrigation
reservoirs that could be used for multiple benefits including diversifying local fisheries
livelihoods and supporting Community Fishery (CFi) management. There is a high
demand for local species, and many water bodies are already supporting artisanal
fisheries for household consumption or into the local market. Dispersed Small scale
hatcheries could be coordinated to provide fry/fingerlings to develop culture-based
capture fisheries from some of these water bodies.
How it works Reservoirs are a potential new or expanding fishery resource. Cambodia
has an abundant supply of reservoirs which must be used more
sustainable multi-use roles.
The use of reservoirs for capture-based culture fishery is a growing and
successful way to extract additional livelihoods and food benefits from
these water bodies. Reservoirs are managed like large ponds. Hatchery
reared fingerlings, or rice field raised fry-fingerlings are released into the
reservoir and a no-feeding management is usually followed. In many
cases shoreline compost/manure piles are used and nutrients will seep
into the reservoir providing additional nutrients for algal-plankton web
development. A polyculture of species comprised of herbivorous,
phyto/zooplankton feeders and benthic foragers can be established,
provided the water body has sufficient dry season depth. Depending on
the size and economic conditions supplemental feed can be added as
Culture-based Capture fisheries, Lao PDR (NACA), Reservoir–
This management practice is widespread in Asian reservoirs. Using local
species or those species that thrive in lake/reservoir environments would
be an excellent strategy for making better use of irrigation reservoirs and
diversifying Cambodian rural livelihoods. There are many suitable
species available in Cambodia for stocking in reservoirs also those
species of Tilapia, Indian Major and Chinese carps could also be used
depending on market suitability.
This is essentially lake stocking so the amount of yield will be primarily
based on water productivity, species choice plus any additional fertilizer
inputs. In well managed reservoirs (China) 60% of stocked fish are
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recovered (Beveridge and Phillips, 1987).
There will need to be investments in hatchery development and the
coordination of those specific hatcheries providing fry/fingerlings for
There should be good market and food value acceptance of selected
Governance and co-management institutions would need to be
developed along with the community ideas and concerns. These
fisheries would need a management regime, ideally centered in a
Community Fishery, or a joint Water Management-Fishery Committee. It
would require a multi-stakeholder commitment to co-management
arrangements including Provincial Water Management Department and
FiA cantonment to avoid conflicts and impacts of irrigation water
drawdown, and to develop equitable costs and benefits sharing regimes.
If the reservoir is also used for drinking water and is fertilized then there
will be concerns over water quality standards.
This can be an overlap between fisheries and aquaculture so the
resource rights must be clear and decisive. Escapees for any adjacent
cage, pen or pond cultures could end up in the reservoir capture fishery.
Key benefits including additional fish resources, employment and more
sustainable water use regimes.
FiA, Provincial Fisheries Cantonment, Local NGOs, Community
Beveridge, M. and M.J. Phillips in De Silva, S. (ed). 1987. Reservoir
Fishery Management and Development in Asia. IDRC-264e. IDRC:
De Silva, S. S., 2003. Culture-based fisheries: an underutilized
opportunity in aquaculture. Aquaculture 221: 221-243.
6. Product Name: Solar Lighting (Kamworks Moonlight)
Rural people need a portable lamp. Different rooms need to be lit during the evening
hours, and most consumers cannot afford more than one lamp. Furthermore, a dimmed
light during the entire night is needed, to orientate in the dark and to feel safe at night.
The rural households selected the final design of the Kamworks Moon Light from 4
The Moonlight is a $25 solar lamp and charging system, replacing kerosene lamps in
rural homes. At low power it gives a night light for women’s security and child-care,
without fumes, fire hazard, or fuel costs. On high power it can be used for study and fine
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How it works
The Moonlight (ML) is a solar lantern developed by Kamworks, a social
enterprise in Cambodia. Pico Sol Cambodia is an NGO that supports
solar energy in rural Cambodia. Pico Sol Cambodia is implementing a
project to support Kamworks to identify and train village entrepreneurs
(VEs) and further develop the business model. The project is funded by
the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Energy For All Partnership Initiative.
The ML was developed to replace kerosene lighting used by rural
households in Cambodia that have no access to grid electricity and not
enough capital to purchase and charge car batteries. About 800,000
rural families use kerosene as their main source of lighting (NIS 2008).
Households that mainly use kerosene for lighting consume about 2 liters
per month (UNDP2008), which is about $2 compared to the current price
of kerosene (August 2011).
The idea is to provide a better light for a similar price, avoiding the
harmful fumes from kerosene lamps and the risk of fire to the typical
wooden or thatch houses. The Moonlight costs $25 dollars and families
that rely on kerosene for lighting are usually not able to come up with
this high up-front cost. Regular payments can reduce the up-front cost
and make the ML affordable for poor households.
Families that use kerosene are living in villages several kilometers away
from the district towns. Offering the ML for sale in district towns is not
sufficient to reach these target villages. Therefore, the only option is for
someone to personally visit these remote villages to present the ML and
explain the benefits. Promotion campaigns can also help but will not lead
to high sales if the ML is not available in the villages.
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Kamworks will recruit VEs mainly in areas without grid electricity.
Advertisements for VEs will be placed in public places in villages and
interested candidates can contact Kamworks for more information. A
quick initial assessment is made during the first phone call and potential
candidates that can read, write and calculate will have to undertake a
more in-depth test/questionnaire. The highest scoring candidates on this
test will be invited to participate in intensive business training.
The training will include basic entrepreneurial skills like accounting,
customer identification, entrepreneurial etiquette, social skills and
customer service. The training also includes an introduction to solar
energy and products as well as detailed information about pricing,
payment schemes, warrantee and repair services
The WA program can negotiate with Kamworks and Pico Solar for a
collaboration to introduce its Village Entrepreneur program into its target
This is a robust, green economy alternative to kerosene lighting for
remote villages. Note also that Moonlight units can be used to attract
insects to fish ponds and to bat manure production installations (see
other sheets in this series).
Safe, clean and fully renewable. The $25 capital cost represents a
barrier to access for many families. Kamworks provides a payment plan
in which a family can buy on installments equivalent to their monthly
savings on kerosene.
The mission of Kamworks is to provide Sustainable solar solutions for
off-grid communities. Knowing that about 80% of the Cambodian
population are living in the rural areas and have no access to an
electricity grid, solar electricity could be an economical and clean
solution for these people.
Steve Gosselin, Kamworks CSO Cambodia
+855 17 857 458, +855 23 351 454
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7. Product Name: Ornamental Fish
Key Facts: Local markets for ornamental fish in Cambodia are substantial, including in
provincial towns such as Stung Treng and Kratie. In Kratie Town there are itinerant
vendors with hand-carts, selling goldfish, betas and other popular species in oxygenated
bags, to households. Likely these items are coming in from Vietnam, but culture
technology is simple and production could be done using the same concrete ring tank
technology already in use for catfish in the project area. One supplier in Vietnam
produces three Mekong fishes—the clown featherback (Chitala ornata), the Chinese
algae eater (Gyrinocheilus aymonieri) and the giant gourami (Osphronemus gouramy).
Less frequently traded Mekong species include the three-spot gourami (Trichogaster
trichopterus) and the moonlight gourami (Trichogaster microlepis).
How it works Ornamental fish keeping is one of the most popular hobbies in the world
today. The growing interest in aquarium fishes has resulted in steady
increase in aquarium fish trade globally. The trade with a turnover of US
$ 5 Billion and an annual growth rate of 8 percent offers a lot of scope
There is a large number of tropical aquarium fishes known to aquarists.
While many of the fish are easy to breed, some are rare, difficult to
breed and expensive. Most of the exotic species can be bred and reared
easily since the technology is simple and well developed, as for
example: discus (Symphysodon spp), guppy (Poecilia reticulata),, koi
(Cyprinus carpio), glass catfish (Kryptopterus bicirrhis), green pufferfish
(Tetraodon fluviatilis), black tetra (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi) and
swordtail, (Xiphophorus hellerii) plus the indigenous Mekong species(
The culture/rearing of many ornamental fishes can be done in cement
tanks, including the concrete ring tanks already being used for catfish
culture, or in hapa-lined ponds.
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Ornamental fishes may require live foods at some life stages. Small
scale culture technologies exist for daphnia, tubifex worms, insects, etc. 2
In peri-urban areas with access to electric power and roads, culture of
ornamental fish is no more demanding than the hatchery operations
already in place. Implementation in the project area will require
identification of which are the most suitable species to start, in terms of
simplicity of technology and of demand in accessible markets (i.e. a
value chain assessment which would require some basic field work).
A visit to a market in Phnom Penh showed several species of common
ornamental fish (goldfish, bettas, etc) retailing for KHR1,000 to 3,000 per
individual (US$0.25 to 0.75). While this is much higher on a per kilogram
basis that most fish intended for consumption, the value chain
requirements of keeping the fish alive and healthy to the point of sale are
costly. There are of course important ornamentals such as koi and
arawan that sell for thousands of dollars per individual.
Ornamental fish culture requires a degree of entrepreneurial ability,
which will be present only among some of the beneficiaries in the target
area. Many efforts to implement enterprises of even modest complexity
fail for reason linked to management capacity. Business development
services should be incorporated into the support program. Cambodian
organizations such as BDLink are experienced in such matters
(www.bdlink.com.kh.amental fish culture can be intensive and may
require disease control measures using antibiotics and other problematic
chemical approaches. One criterion of the assessment of suitable
species should be hardiness in culture, goldfish for example.
The website of one Cambodian ornamental fish producer and trader
shows 122 different species and varieties of ornamental fish available.
When contacted, Mr. Kimsan expressed a willingness to discuss and
provide more information in January 2012, when he expects to have
completed the expansion of his shop.
It is likely that setup costs for species that can be grown in natural water
in hapas are small. Production of other species requiring aeration and
water purification will require higher investment and greater
management skills. Field work will be necessary to identify which
species are optimal for the market and for the financial and managerial
capacity of the target groups.
“Mr. Arowana Pets Shop”
#61Eo, St.592, S/K Phnom Penh Thmey, Khan Sen Sok, Phnom Penh,
Tel : 089 666 089 , 023 678 9168 E-mail :
Website : www.iknow.com.kh/mr.arowana
Photos from various internet sites. Not for publication without attribution
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8. Product Name: Efficient Palm Sugar Stoves
Key Facts: Palm sugar is a traditional Cambodian product, made by boiling down the
juice collected from cut blossom stems of the sugar palm tree (similar in concept to
Canadian maple sugar production). Traditional stoves used for this purpose are fuel
inefficient and hazardous to health (smoke inhalation). New efficient stoves with
chimneys have been designed to reduce fuel use and enable production of higher value
product forms (granulated palm sugar). The NGO GERES Cambodia is implementing a
program to support palm sugar producers in the acquisition and adoption of this new
How it works In Southeast Asia, palm sugar is a cultural tradition. It has also been
shown to be a healthier, more environmentally friendly alternative to
cane sugar; the UN FAO has called palm sugars the most sustainable
sweeteners in the world. In Cambodia alone, it is estimated that 20,000
families are involved in palm sugar production, mostly in rural areas.
Palm sugar is used in many Asian dishes, and has therefore an
international market. Current wholesale prices in Cambodia for
granulated palm sugar are about US$1,100 per ton. Granulated palm
sugar (as distinct from the traditional paste and cake) is a product
recently developed by a local NGO “DATe”. This product has a very high
potential in local and international markets. It is already popular and sold
in local supermarkets, and high end hotels and restaurants provide
granulated palm sugar sachets.
However, inefficient cooking technology means that palm sugar
production is dangerous, costly and time consuming. Traditional palm
sugar production consumes around 144,000 tons of fuelwood annually
the second highest usage after domestic cooking. 100% of the wood
consumed for this type of production comes from illegal harvesting of
natural forests. Constant exposure to smoke causes health problems for
producers, who are primarily women, and reduces the quality of the
palm sugar itself. These practices have severe environmental and socioeconomic consequences which exacerbate the development challenges
in the country.
In 2005 GERES Cambodia, in collaboration with Planète Bois,
developed the Vattanak stove, a post-combustion stove designed
specifically for palm sugar producers. This stove is 30% more fuel
efficient than a traditional palm sugar stove, saving each family over 2.4
tons of fuelwood every year.
This results in money savings for the palm sugar producer, a cleaner
environment, and a significant reduction in CO2 emissions. Last but not
least, it improves the quality of palm sugar, allowing it to be sold at a
higher price both domestically and internationally.
Since 2007, GERES has disseminated 200 Vattanak stoves, and is
committed to distributing a total of 5,000 Vattanak stoves by 2014.
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Vattanac Stove in use
Internal Compound burner
As noted, palm sugar production is a traditional and ubiquitous
household enterprise in Cambodia. GERES Cambodia would likely be
very willing to collaborate with WA to introduce improved palm sugar
stoves among producers in the project area.
Vattanac stoves are more expensive than traditional stoves. However
the fuelwood savings will pay back the additional cost in a short time.
Vattanac stoves make it easier to produce a higher grade product, in the
form of granulated palm sugar, which in many areas commands a higher
price in the market.
Palm Sugar Revenues (farm gate) US$/kg
and benefits •
Seasonal Production per household
Net revenue gain from new technology per
year (more than additional cost of Vattanac
Stove). 40% saving on fuel wood costs is
Burning less fuelwood reduces greenhouse gas emissions and limits
pressure on Cambodian natural forests.
2.4 tons of wood saved per stove annually,
46,732 tons of CO2 equivalent: total estimated emissions reductions
Vattanak stoves also produce less smoke, and the use of a chimney
means that smoke is kept out of the local surroundings, improving
palm sugar producers’ working conditions.
Each stove provides 60% more thermal efficiency than the traditional
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The use of less fuelwood also means that producers spend less time
collecting wood, reducing drudgery and allowing them to spend time
with their family and in other pursuits such as education, craftwork,
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9. Product Name: Lucky Iron Fish
Key Facts: Iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) is a severe public health problem in
Cambodia – over 63% of the population suffers from this ailment, which is particularly
debilitating for many women. Addition of a piece of metallic iron to the cooking pot
can add significant dietary iron to the food, but getting rural women to do this
required some clever socio/cultural design. The piece of iron is distributed as a small
cast iron “lucky fish” which is very acceptable and is now being promoted by
Cambodian organizations. For a program concerned with wellbeing in communities
where fish are an important livelihood component, such an intervention could have
iconic benefit if properly promoted.
How it works
Anemia is the condition in which there is a lack of red blood cells
in the body; in the case of IDA, this is due to a lack of dietary iron.
As iron acts as the “vehicle” to carry oxygen around the body,
iron-deficiency symptoms are manifested as persistent fatigue,
muscle weakness, impaired concentration, and
malaise/depression amongst other symptoms. Anemia affects all
aspects of life, including one’s ability to go to school or work.
Malnutrition, a combination of the lack of quantity of food and
poor quality of diet, is a leading cause of iron-deficiency anemia.
In most cases, it is a reversible condition that can be treated with
adequate intake of iron (e.g., iron supplements). The usage of
iron pots can lead to the leaching of iron into food, which can
then be eaten as a source of iron supplementation. But in
Cambodia, where aluminum pots are much more prevalent, there
is no adventitious source of iron. Is there a low-cost, sustainable
solution to this public health program? Christopher Charles, a
PhD Candidate in Biomedical Science/Population Medicine at the
University of Guelph, developed the “sok sabay try”, an iron ingot
in the shape of a “lucky” fish in Cambodian culture. Resembling
an iron paper weight no larger than the size of a child’s fist, it can
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be placed in a boiling pot of liquid, such as in soup or water, while
a meal is being cooked. The ingot releases iron into the liquid
(without altering the taste) which can be readily consumed.
Moreover, vitamin C and iron ingestion have a mutuallyenhancing absorption effect into the body. Cambodians often
consume soup soured with ascorbic acid from tamarind or lime
juice, on a daily basis. So when this soup is prepared with the
iron ingot in the pot, the consumers will benefit from better
absorption of both iron and vitamin C.
Research on promotion and impact of the lucky iron fish is being
carried out by the Helen Keller Institute and Resource
Development International in Cambodia. Implementation could be
bundled with other public health interventions such as the SODIS
water purification and the pod latrines.
Lucky Iron Fish programs will be very low cost interventions,
much cheaper than iron supplements. Cost per unit of the
hardware will likely be less than US$1.00, as it is just a simple
piece of cast iron from scrap.
No environmental constraints. Social marketing required.
WorldFish could consider “adopting” the lucky iron fish as part of
its corporate branding in Cambodia.
Resource Development International is continuing to work with
the villages involved in the original study, while awaiting the
analysis of Christopher Charles’s research results. RDI is also
producing cast iron “lucky iron fish” for low cost distribution.
Contact Ann Hall, [email protected] , or +855 (0)17 33 76 82.
The original research was carried out with funding from the
University of Guelph, the International Development Research
Centre of Canada, and a doctoral research award from the
Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
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10. Product Name: Wood gasifier, Renewable Energy
Key Facts: Wood and other plant materials can be heated to yield “producer gas”, which
can be fed directly into a diesel engine, replacing all or most of the petroleum fossil fuel
normally used. In Cambodia, most of the electricity available to poor households in rural
areas is produced by small diesel engines powering generators used to charge
automotive batteries. These batteries are then taken home by householders to run lights,
fans, and television. In larger communities in the project area, where there are
established “Rural Electrical Enterprises” (REEs), wood gasifier systems can be
introduced. Fuel for such systems can come from smallholder farms producing fastgrowing leguminous trees, providing cash incomes for local fuel growers, plus animal
feed from the leaves. Wood gasifier systems of appropriate scale, made in India, are
already in operation in Cambodia marketed and serviced by a Cambodian company.
How it works
Wood Gasifier (14KVA electric generator) Battambang
Batteries for home lights
Leucena plantation for gasifier fuel
Orange grove prepared for inter-cropping with Leucena (fast growing
leguminous tree, good for animal feed)
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SME Renewables Ltd. offers turnkey projects, including system design,
project feasibility studies, project planning and project financing, to rural
electricity producers, agro-business processing enterprises and
manufacturers requiring stand alone electrical energy solutions. Primary
markets include rice mills, cashew processing plants, ice factories,
noodle factories and rural electricity enterprises.
Equipment offered currently includes biomass gasification equipment
from 10 kW to 800 kW in capacity. These units utilize both wood and/or
fine grain agriculture wastes such as rice husks or maize cobs for fuel.
Electricity generation and distribution systems and captive power
systems are custom designed to fit individual customer requirements.
In addition to its technical engineering capacity to design and install
biomass gasification systems, SME Renewables has staff with
experience in the establishment of tropical short cycle rotation (SCR)
tree crops (such as Leucaena, Gliricidia and Acacia) that are suitable to
supply biomass for the gasification process. Advisory services to farmers
and energy plantation development services are available to customers
and investors interested in developing commercial biomass plantations
and tree farms.
These systems are already operational in Cambodia. A reconnaissance
of the project area will identify any existing REEs who may be interested
to convert from fossil fuel-based systems to wood gasifier based ones. If
so, then SME-Renewables should be asked to do an assessment and to
quote for an installation
Wood gasifier systems complete with gen-sets and all peripherals cost
about $30,000 for an installation suitable to power a village. Electricity
can be available for the community at around half of the cost of fossil
fuel systems, depending on the comparable transport cost of fuel. The
production of the biomass for gasification means that the community is
getting an import substitution, putting the revenue from the fuel
production in local hands.
Reduction of fossil fuel use. Possible carbon credits for the fuelwood
production. Revenue to the community. Cheaper power. These systems
are not complicated, but a certain level of technical and managerial
competence is required.
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11. Product Name: FROG REARING
Frogs are commonly consumed by Cambodians, and many communities depend on
collecting wild frogs for supplementing their limited protein intake and to generate
additional income. However, there are limited numbers of farmers practicing frog farming
in Cambodia, due to lack of extension services.
Froglet production is done in Cambodia in commercial hatcheries. Adult frogs are
artificially induced to spawn, eggs incubated and larvae reared in the hatchery.
Metamorphosed froglets are sold to out-grower farmers for rearing. Frog rearing can be
done with simple technology in hapas or in tanks.
How it works The knowledge and skills base or producing froglets and raising frogs
1- Technical knowhow through capacity development on:
Frog farm construction, management, food and feeding methods,
disease control, prevention of cannibalism through size grading,
harvesting and marketing.
- Plastic screen will be use for hapa construction 8mx2.4m
- Regular monitoring
- Proper feeding with available feed like; Termites, earthworms,
low value fish and insects from light traps, or diversify with
farmed earthworms or crickets (see other sheets in this
series), and commercial artificial feed
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Frog rearing is technically not much more sophisticated than other forms
of pond or hapa aquaculture of carnivorous species. There are two
important differences: the general preference for live feed, which has
been largely overcome in the selected strains now common in
Cambodia; and the related need to size grade the animals in production,
to avoid predation by larger frogs on the smaller ones.
Implementation of a frog rearing program would involve the usual
selection of appropriate early-adopter farmers, exchange visits, and
Farmer can raise frogs in enclosures (hapas) or ponds
Construction (2mx6mx3) pond
(15years depreciation) implies 1year cost US$20
Buy 1500 frog lets
Feed per cycle
Pond depreciation 15years :
Total Operating cost
Output adult frogs: 300kg
Net operating Profit (per cycle 4-5months) : US$560.00
Environment Frog farming can make use of low cost and otherwise under used
protein sources, such as termites, earthworms, crickets, and other
insects from light traps, converting them to high quality food sources for
and benefits humans
Froglet producers and frog production operators can be found in many
parts of in Cambodia, Some key information resources are:
RUA: SEAK Soly (Consultant and author on frog breeding and
techniques of frog raising,Email:[email protected], Tel: 012 333 534
FiA Siem Reap: Mr. Thy Ratha, FiA Officer/ Siem Reap province, Frog
raising business consultant; froglet producer/supplier, Contact phone #
012 356 090;
FiA: Kampong Thom: Mr. Nhim Theang, Fishery Administration
cantonment (FiA) officer, Contact phone # 012 233 854
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12. Product Name: Fruit tree Micro-Nurseries
Key Facts: Fruit tree seedlings can be produced in micro-nurseries at household or
self-help group level and sold locally. Khmer tradition is that every married couple should
plant four or five fruit trees soon after the marriage, so that a few years later the fruit will
feed their children and bring in household income to cover school and medical
expenses. Fruit tree seedling production requires modest financial and material
resources for nursery construction, plastic bags, rice hulls and compost for potting soil,
and management of the nursery.
How it works Technical requirements are simple:
4- Technical Training on:
Fruit tree nursery construction, soil mixing and seed selection
techniques, seedling management, pest and weed control, watering,
handling and transportation.
5- Fruit tree nursery establishment
A nursery 10x6 meters can be constructed using wooden poles and
available plastic shade-cloth. The site should be near a water source
for easy irrigation of the seedlings.
The most popular fruit tree species should be selected for the
nursery, for example mango, lime, jackfruit, longan, guava, and
custard apple. Or other species for which a market has been
Mix fertile potting soil
Put soil into plastic
Put fruit tree seed into
Grow to seedling
Ready to sell
Planting in suitable
The best time to sell fruit tree seedlings is at early wet season
(May/June). The price of seedlings ranges from US$0.50US$3/seedling, depending on the type and size. Markets will be
available inside and outside of the community.
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Fruit trees are an integral part of Cambodian agriculture, and are well
appreciated. Simple farmer to farmer approaches will be sufficient to
promote implementation of micro-nurseries.
A fruit tree nursery size 10mx6m will require US$150 investment to
construct and equip with plastic bags, watering cans and small tools.
Farmers can product around 1000 fruit tree seedlings per cycle in such a
facility. Fruit tree seedling can be sold at an average price of US$0.70/
seedling. Average income is therefore US$700 per production cycle and
higher than this when seedling bigger than normal size sell.
Construction tree nursery (10mx6mx3m)
(for 5years depreciation / 1year cost US$30.00)
Material input (watering can, plastic bag, soil…): US$200.00
Labor for mixing soil filling soil in bag, caring : US$100.00
Fruit tree seed collection
Nursery depreciation (5years) each year cost : US$30.00
Total Operating cost
From 1000fruit tree seedlings @ US$0.70:
Net operating Profit (per cycle 4-5month)
Fruit tree seedling production and tree planting promotes sustainable
agriculture and climate change resilience. Cambodian smallholder
farmers and commercial farmers should be encouraged to cultivate fruit
trees and other tree crops as much as possible to promote food security.
- Technical support can be obtained from Agriculture Extension
workers (MAFF Provincial Departments), and from NGOs in
Cambodia such as CEDAC.
- Retail nursery shops in Phnom Penh and provincial towns are usually
helpful to small producers, in order ensure their own supply for onsale.
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13. Product Name: Steam Straw Mushroom Production and Marketing
Mushrooms are very nutritious products, rich in crude fiber and protein, low fat, low
calories and high in vitamins. They can be produced from lignocellulosic waste materials,
for example, paddy straw, cotton wastes, coffee waste, water hyacinth, saw dust, bean
husk, sugar cane bagasse, wild grasses and other materials.
In Cambodia, many mushroom cultivation methods are used, for example growing on
paddy straw laid out in rows on the soil, growing on raised bamboo beds, and in plastic
bags hanging in closed shelters. Steam mushroom production techniques have been
introduced because they give more reliable uniform cultures, are easily adopted by
farmers, and workable in both dry and wet seasons. These techniques provide high yields
and high profits.
How it works Straw mushroom production uses available rice straw resources from
paddy fields after harvest using, and other low-value materials
Method (see photographs above):
Construction: Plastic screen, bamboo poles and string are used
for construction of a simple thatched shelter 6mx3mx1.5m,
Steamer: A low-pressure steamer is constructed of a standard
200 liter drum, in order to sterilize the raw material before
inoculation with spores
Raw material: rice straw, water hyacinth, paddy straw, cotton
wastes, saw dust, bean shell, sugar cane bagasse and mushroom
Cultivation techniques: soak the rice straw until wet and soft,
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mix with other material, and make straw balls (30 to 40 cm in
diameter). Steam the ball around 3 hours, allow to cool, and then
put in mushroom spores. Keep in the production shelter.
Harvesting stage begins in about 10days. The best temperature
for mushroom growing is 35-38oC. Monitor and harvest for about
40days, when the mushroom culture will have consumed the raw
Mushroom spore input supply can be had from local and
external mushroom spore producer/suppliers in many parts of
Cambodia, to ensure high quality mushroom spores;
Regular monitoring of mushroom farm: Monitor the growing
situation, especially temperature and moisture.
This technique has been extensively applied among Cambodian farmers
to generate income and promote better livelihoods. Farmers can use
resources available locally to generate incomes from straw mushroom
The technique can be implemented through farmer capacity development
and practical training on cultivation methods. Producers must be linked to
market, via local collectors or directly to wholesaler/ retailers at local
At the outset, spawn can be purchased from specialized producers
elsewhere in Cambodia. In the near term, one farmer in each community
should be trained to become a mushroom spore producer, to supply
good quality spawn to producer groups.
Mushroom production has low investment costs, using locally available
material. Fix assets (steam boiler, shelter construction,) cost about
One cycle of steam mushroom production of 100 mushroom balls has the
following costs and returns.
Material input for mushroom production
Labor for mixing soil and filling bag, etc. :
One year fix asset depreciation is
Total Operating cost
Average yield/bag is 0.60kg (0.60kgx100bg
Revenue (US$3.00 x60kg)
Net operating Profit (per cycle)
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Straw mushroom production is environmentally friendly, without any harm
other than the use of fuel wood for the steam boiler. Spent substrate can
be used for compost directly, or for worm production before final use as a
soil amendment. Worm production for aquaculture and other livestock
feed is discussed in another item in this series.
Sources, and Technical support documents and resource people can be found in
MAFF, or Contact Mr. Sam Samnang at Tel 092 768 708
Provincial Departments of Agriculture in Kampong Cham, Siem Reap
and Banteay Meanchey Provinces; and Provincial Department of
agriculture- Kampong Thom (Focal person: Men Ra,Tel: 092 902 186
Commercial and practitioner farmer (Mr. Ouk Bunce), O’ngo village,
Beung Pring Commune, Thmolkol district, Battambang, Tel: 012 431 669
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14. Product Name: Earthworm culture
Earthworms are a source of protein for raising catfish, eels, chickens, ducks, crocodiles,
turtles, and other aquaculture and livestock species among rural Cambodian
communities. Some farmers collect earthworms from paddy fields for sale to fish farms.
Raising earthworms is still not popular among Cambodia farmers, due to lack of training.
However, with support from development organizations in the last decade, many farmers
have begun to farm earthworms on a small scale, in the home compound, to feed their
livestock, especially catfish, chickens and ducks. Earthworms are a rich source of
protein and fat which promotes fast growth and health of livestock, if properly fed.
How it works Earthworm farming is not highly technical, and is easily applied by
farmers after some simple training:
7- Training should include:
Understanding the basic concepts of earthworm raising
techniques, earthworm farm construction, how to mix soil for
raising earthworms, maintenance, food and feeding methods,
protection from predators, and harvesting.
8- Earthworm farm construction and stocking
Plastic sheets, culverts, or concrete tanks can be used for
earthworm farms. Scale of earthworm farm construction depends
on farmer capacity. Culverts (ring tiles) can be used, or raised
beds on the ground using plastic sheet, for example 2m x 10m x
0.5m., The soil mix should be 3 parts cow manure, 1 part rice
bran and 1part fertile soil. About 10,000 to 20,000 adult
earthworms per M2 are required to start.
9- Caring for earthworms
- Cover the earthworm farm with kitchen waste, vegetable material
and cow manure. Protect from direct sunlight and rainfall;
- Water regularly as damp soil makes earthworms more mobile for
feeding. Cover the farm with palm leaves allowing air circulation.
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Earthworms can be used to feed catfish, eels, frogs, and poultry
- Earthworm farming is easily adopted by Cambodian farmers, and
integrated into the feed supply for other livestock, reducing the need
for purchased feeds, or for sale to other producers.
- Expertly supervised farmer to farmer extension services should be
sufficient to encourage adoption of this technology
- An earthworm farm of 1.2 x 4 x 0.5 meters would cost about US$30 to
buy plastic sheet and US$10 for a starter worm population. Total
investment cost is around US$40
Earthworm farming is environment friendly, using wastes and producing
very high quality animal protein for livestock feed. Start-up capital
requirement is small and technical skills basic. The system supports
independence from external suppliers.
Earthworm production is present in many parts of Cambodia, Some
resource persons for earthworm production are:
Phnom Penh/ Royal University of Agriculture (RUA):
Mr. SEAK Soly (author on earthworm culture and trainer,
Email:[email protected], Tel: 012 333 534,
- ADDA organization based in Siem Reap and
- CEDAC organization;
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15. Product Name: Naim (pickled fish snack) processing and Marketing
Key Facts: Naim is a local product, well known among Cambodians, made from
fermented fresh fish. It is nutritionally rich, produced from fresh fish meat mixed with
locally available ingredients (garlic, salt, chili, galangal, and sugar). It is often used as
snack food. Naim is very popular, especially in Steung Treng Kratie, and Battambang.
Many people have experience in making naim and marketing it locally with good profits.
People can make naim from fish available in the area, using family labor and generating
income to the household.
How it works Naim processing operators can produce for the market all year round,
depending on availability of raw material, and labor. The processing
requires certain skills. There are several steps in the process:
Processing site and machinery
- A suitable location/processing site is required, with proper hygiene
and sanitation. Electricity and clean water are required;
- Equipment includes simple meat-grinding machinery (can be hand
cranked), and equipment for stirring, knives, trays, baskets etc.
Separate areas for preparation of fish meat, and storage of product
- Fresh fish is the raw material,
- Fish are cleaned, de-boned and fish meet collected and washed
- Mix fish meat and ingredient then pass through chopping and mixing
Packaging, fermentation, and Storage
- The output is packed into small plastic bags 2-5 grams), sealed and
labeled for storage;
- The product is stored for 2-3days in a cool location to allow
fermentation to take place, before marketing to consumer.
- In general, naim producers supply directly to retail stores, restaurants,
drinking shops and wedding party caterers in the province, and to
outside markets depending on contracts. There are good market for
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Specialty fermented fish products like naim are very popular and in high
demand in Cambodia and can be the basis of successful small
businesses, creating job opportunities, and using available raw material.
Some naim and similar products are imported from neighboring
countries, so there is an opportunity for import substitution.
Implementation of naim processing should consider the following:
- Identify and select committed women interested to do small
- Form processing groups;
- Build capacity on technical processing/packaging/hygiene,
sanitation, basic marketing concepts and marketing linkages…
- Teach clear business planning (cost profit analysis) and processing
Naim production and marketing can show good profits and fast rate of
return on investment, with less than a week per cycle. Information from
existing naim producers suggests a net-profit of US$12.50 for one
Assessment, business cycle.
10kg fresh fish (without head) get 8.50 of fish meat
Mixed with ingredient get 9kg (fish meat and ingredients)
Packaging material use
Water and Electricity used
Total Operating cost
9kg of naim can pack 45 packs (10piece/pack)
Revenue from naim sold 45pack x 4500r/pack=
Net operating Profit (per cycle – 1 day)
Environment Naim processing is environmentally friendly, adding nutritional and
storage life value to the raw fish resource This business can create job
opportunities generating household income for the members.
Royal University of Agriculture: Faculty of Food Science
Mr. SEAK Soly: lecturer on thermal food processing, and technical
resource person for fish processing (naim), Contact: 012 333 535; Email:
Resource person: Mrs. Rorn Sareth, Naim processor/trainer; Prey
Khpob village, Battambang , Tel: 088 911 7813
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16. Product Name: Dried Shrimp
Key Facts: Dry shrimp is local product well know among Cambodians, produced from
fresh water shrimp collected from rivers lakes and reservoirs. It is nutritionally rich and
used in Khmer local and Chinese dishes. Fresh water shrimp are boiled, dried and the
shell removed, then packed for market. The processed product has a reasonably long
How it works
Shrimp for processing is available year round. The processing requires
skill semi-skilled personnel:
Solar dryer built from clear plastic sheet and wooden frames, 3m wide
x1.5m long x2m high. Stainless steel trays are required, about 6 per
drier. A suitable location out of reach of animals and other disturbances
For processing and packing a clean room and facilities for washing
equipment are required
Fresh raw shrimp should washed thoroughly in clean water ;
Boil the shrimp in a stainless steel cooking pot ;
Allow to cool for 2-3hours on the dryer trays, then place into solar dryer
for 2-3 days until well dried, stirring regularly to ensure even drying
Remove the shell by pounding in a cloth bag with a hardwood stick.
Packaging and Storage
Packaging material ( plastic jar, plastic bags), scale, sealing machine,
Packaging in plastic bags is suitable for small shrimp processing
enterprise for local markets;
A larger enterprise can package dry shrimp in the plastic bottles or
plastic bags in the sizes of 100 grams to 1 kilogram, depending on the
market demand and orders;
Once packed, the product should be kept in a cool dry place prior to
transporting to market
Hygiene and sanitation of packaged shrimp is the main concern in a
In general, producers supply shrimp directly to retail stores in
provinces. Other markets depend on contracts with wholesale buyers.
Hygienically processed shrimp find acceptance in supermarkets in
Cambodia, where consumer preference justifies the somewhat higher
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The dry processed shrimp is best as a medium scale business, suitable
for communities living in wetland and riverine areas. This business
create job opportunities using available raw material
An approach to implementation will include:
Identify and select committed women and interested people group/ or
Form processing group among committed and interested people;
Build capacity on technical processing/packaging/hygiene, sanitation,
basic marketing concept and marketing linkages
Develop clear business plans
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Ensure process and product hygiene.
Shrimp processing and marketing can show good profits and fast
return on investment For example:.
Dried shrimp processing and marketing shows good profits and fast
investment rate of return for each cycle.
Buy 100kg fresh shrimp invested
Ingredient use (salt)
Boiling (water, firewood)
Packaging material use
Labor use for the whole production
Total operation cost
From 100kg of fresh shrimp received only 18kg of dry shrimp
Cost of shrimp sold 18kg x US$13
Net operating profit per cycle 4days
Shrimp processing is environmental friendly, adds value to the
available shrimp resource, and will contribute to more stable access to
food. The enterprises create employment in the communities.
Royal University of Agriculture : Faculty of food Science
Mr. Kong Thong: lecturer of food processing and as technical resource
person for shrimp processing,
Contact: 011 712 292;
Mr. SEAK Soly Food processing Specialist
Tel:012 333 534, Email:[email protected]
Fishery Administration Cantonment/ Phnom Penh and Siem Reap
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17. Product Name: Cricket Culture
Key Facts: Among other insect foods, crickets are a popular delicacy in Cambodia.
Most of the supply is from the wild, caught at night in light-traps. The wild supply is
declining due to overharvesting and to flood events, and cricket culture has started in
order to keep pace with rising demand in Cambodia and Thailand. Entry costs are
relatively low and the technology simple. Existing Cambodian cricket farmers are willing
to train others. Crickets sell for about KHR10,000/kg at roadside for wild caught.
How it works
Light Traps, Kampong Thom
Ready to eat
Insect Market in Thailand
Crickets can be cultured in the same concrete ring tanks used for catfish
in the project area, or in larger wooden or cement cages. Natural food
such as rice bran, sugar cane juice, and vegetable matter is used, or
prepared feeds can be purchased from Thailand. Brood-stock is
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captured from the wild and simple separate enclosures used for egglaying. Management is not difficult.
There are a number of cricket farms already in Cambodia. Simple farmer
to farmer extension via site visits, or some apprenticeships of selected
villagers to existing farms, should be enough to get it started in the
project area. Some microfinance may be needed, and links to the
One farm in Poipet has 24 cement cages measuring 1.2x1.2 meters
each. One culture cycle is about 50 days, producing up to 50kg of adult
crickets per cage per cycle, or annually about 8,400 kg of crickets for the
whole operation. Sales are to traders at about US$2.5 per kg at farm
gate, or about US$21,000 annually. Costs for feed are about $2,100,
and for labor $2,400, for a gross operating margin of $16,500, (if our
informant is to be believed).
Crickets are an appreciated delicacy and highly nutritious. Wild capture
has a positive impact on losses of rice production due to cricket
infestation. The culture is however replacing the declining wild supply in
the market. Cricket culture is a low risk and substantially profitable
Poipet Farm. Mr. Sokha. Phone 017 330 799
Markets are local, in major Cambodian towns, and to Vietnam and
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18. Product Name: Easy Latrine
Key Facts: For 2.5 billion people globally and 84 % of rural Cambodia, access to
affordable sanitation is a major problem. Lack of adequate sanitation causes more
deaths than HIV, malaria and tuberculosis combined, yet sanitation purchases are
generally seen as status-based rather than health-based investments. A simple design
solution is changing the field, dropping the costs of an age-old product and mobilizing an
industry to impact the well-being of millions of households. The Easy Latrine is the first
affordable and sustainable latrine design that consists of a squat pan, slab, catchment
box, pipe and offset storage rings, making household sanitation decisions easy.
How it works
Easy Latrine’s pioneering design uses affordable, locally-sourced
materials. More than 4,000 Easy Latrines have been sold through
private-sector channels since January 2010. These latrines provide
improved sanitation for low-income families, while promoting water &
sanitation enterprise development throughout rural Cambodia.
Village masons can build ‘Easy Latrines’ themselves from locally
available parts. It consists of a pan, a bucket of water with a ladle, and
pipes to connect a hut to a latrine buried in the ground. The latrine itself
has three receptacles made of rings of concrete bound by the ash of rice
husks — material that’s readily at hand and much cheaper than cement.
Once a receptacle is full, it can be capped, and after two years, the
sediment can be used as compost.
Sanitation marketing uses the power of the market to increase
sustainable access to sanitation at scale. WaterSHED’s sanitation
marketing program takes a “Hands-Off” approach to sanitation
marketing. Pioneered in Cambodia, the Hands-Off approach recognizes
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that with creative social marketing, targeted support to local enterprises
and the brokering of effective public-private partnerships, sanitation
markets can grow without on-going external intervention. The Hands-Off
program plays the role of catalyzing facilitator, using in-depth research
into demand and supply to inform simple but effective strategies aimed
at linking consumers to suppliers, and then staying out of their way.
One latrine costs about $25. The aim is to install 10,000 latrines by April
2011, all without subsidy as prescribed by the Community-Led Total
Most rural Cambodians practice “open defecation”, using the nearest
field or bushy area, being constrained by poverty and lack of education
from doing otherwise. This is a major environmental public health
problem. Affordable latrines, and the business development and social
marketing programs which go with them, are making a tremendous
difference in Cambodia.
Funding from USAID-Cambodia’s MSME Project and the World Bank’s
Water and Sanitation Program fueled Easy Latrine’s development and
distribution in Cambodia. International Development Enterprises,
Cambodia, is the main contact:
Local producers are receiving training in sanitation and hygiene
education, latrine production, and basic business and sales
management. They are asked to invest a minimum of US$500 and
produce three latrines per day. A local mason—having seen his monthly
income jump from US$50 to nearly US$400 in a matter of weeks—
decided to invest more by purchasing another trailer for his motorbike in
order to deliver more latrines to villages. He has also begun to sell his
latrines to supply shops in the region as a secondary means of
distribution. One supply shop is even selling the latrine core without
making a profit, as they expect to earn their profits from the aboveground components that they will sell in conjunction with the core.
PO Box 1577
House 126, Street Ta Phon, Sansom Kosal 1, Boeung Tumpun
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Tel. (855) 23 223 541
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19. Product Name: Reservoir Fishery: Cage Culture.
Key Facts: Abundant water resources held in irrigation reservoirs in Stung Treng
Province which need to be managed for multiple uses. Cage aquaculture is well
established in Asian reservoirs with species and techniques widely available from many
case studies in an extensive literature on cage aquaculture in Asian reservoirs.
How it works
Floating fish cages are constructed (from low cost local materials) and
anchored in the reservoir. These cages are stocked with either
fingerlings for grow out markets or are stocked with fry to be raised for
fingerlings (cage-based hatcheries) for the pond grow out market. For
example, fish are stocked at 10-15/m3 in (5x5x2m) cages for extensive
grow out (Gurung in De Silva and Davy, 2010). This technology depends
on the size and depth of the reservoir. The dry season depth will be
crucial for long term viability of these culture regimes.
Cage Culture Thailand
Tilapia Cage Culture
With increased emphasis on rice production more reservoirs will be
either rehabilitated or constructed, so there will be more opportunities to
use these for diverse functions. If these reservoirs have suitable dry
season depths than local cyprinid species, Silver barb (Barbonymus
gonionotus) or Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), Climbing Perch (Anabas
testudineus) or Chinese carps can be cultured in cages. It should be
noted that cage aquaculture can also be capture-based aquaculture in
which wild juveniles are captured and raised in cages. This can alleviate
some of the hatchery bottlenecks seen in start-up aquaculture
enterprises. Joffre et al 2010, discuss the different pro-poor aquaculture
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options suitable for rural Cambodia. This fact sheet includes information
on cage culture designs (from Tonle Sap) and feeding options which
could be adapted to social-economic and environmental conditions
found in the project target areas (Stung Treng/Kratie).
Cage culture will require innovative forms of access to credit in order to
start these businesses and to develop markets and any value-added
products. Local micro-finance organizations and their NGO partners
should see cage aquaculture as a potentially viable investment for rural
The development of “better management practices” for cage culture will
be needed so would involve participation by local stakeholders and FiA
staff, requiring time and money.
The local availability and thus the cost of fry/fingerlings will influence
cage culture development. The development of local, low cost small
scale shoreline-based hatchery systems should be investigated to
The cost, availability and quality of feed inputs, as well as the local
availability of potential inputs for pond water fertilization are primary
considerations. It is necessary to review the costs of farm-made feeds in
Stung Treng, including what material are available and the costs of
producing local products (see Feeds Product Sheet). A review of trade
off for fertilizer use is also necessary.
With the development of low cost solar lighting by companies such as
Kamworks in Cambodia, these lighting systems could be installed along
with cages to attract fish autochthonous feeds from the reservoir or flying
Farm escapes are a financial lost to cage culture business, adding to
benefits from any wild fishery in the reservoir. As well, over time,
escaped fish could build up the wild fishery.
Small-scale reservoir cage culture can contribute to local rural
livelihoods diversification through the sustainable production of a
valuable fish crop. Cage business could also support other supporting
and fish processing/marketing enterprises such as fish sauce and
The deliberative resolution of water tenure, user conflicts and the
establishment of effective co-management community-based cage
culture or private sector leasing regimes will be crucial. Reservoirs have
many users and are often subjected to single-use top-down control by a
dominate Ministry, so multi-stakeholder platforms or dialogues must be
established in this area in order to develop inclusive co-management
Water quality analysis and a hydrological regime will need to be done,
with a focus on dry season DO regimes and the impacts of Water Dept
scheduled draw downs.
Hatchery production of locally available fingerlings and local feeds
supplies will continue to be limiting factors for more intensive forms of
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cage culture. With capture-based aquaculture, the “fattening” of local
(indigenous) species such as trey chador (Channa sp.) could be a very
good initial start up, eliminating the need for hatcheries and are very
popular. These local species will have local market acceptance and
Escaped fish can contribute to the local capture fisheries and
supplement wild stocks. Providing additional fish for any subsistence
fishery. In time, cage aquaculture could provide employment for
returning family members or other laborers.
ST Fisheries Cantonment and FiA would be necessary partners in this.
IFReDI would need to do water productivity analysis. The FiA DAD
(dept. of Aquaculture Development), in conjunction with CEPA or other
groups could carry out a local aquaculture suitability and sustainability
assessment and participate in the development of “better management
Micro-finance/credit mechanisms and their NGO supporters granting
small loans ($2-3000) to establish social-enterprises based on cage
culture including local financial support for construction, nets and other
and goods and services.
Kamworks or other solar lighting companies have rechargeable lights for
overhead or water column live feeds attraction.
Das, A.K., Vass, K.K., Shrivastava, N.P. and P.K. Katiha. 2009. Cage
Reservoirs in India. (A Handbook) WorldFish Center Technical Manual
The WorldFish Center, Penang, Malaysia. 24 pp.
Gurung, T.B et al. in DeSilva, S. and B. Davy (eds). 2010. Success
Stories in Asian Aquaculture. IDRC: Ottawa.
Joffre, O., et al. 2010. AQUACULTURE FOR THE POOR IN
CAMBODIA – LESSONS LEARNED. The WorldFish Center, Phnom
De Silva, S. (ed). 1987. Reservoir Fishery Management and
Development in Asia. IDRC-264e. IDRC: Ottawa
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20. Product Name: Rice-Fish Farming
Key Facts: Integrated rice-fish farming systems are ancient and widespread in Asia.
Combining rice and fish, the two staple foods of the region, creates a more
environmentally sound and sustainable agro-fish ecosystem providing a wider range of
food and market items for the household. There are many synergisms with rice and fish,
including ecological pest control, soil nutrient and aeration enhancement, more efficient
water use for rice agriculture. Stung Treng and Kratie both have irrigated rice that can be
modified for integrating a fish crop.
How it works
The rice field is modified to either have a fish crop in sequence or
concurrently with the rice. Field modifications include higher bunds and
pond refuge or channels. Wild fish are trapped and grown in the rice
fields or species such as barbs (Puntius sp.),Tilapia, common carp are
stocked in the paddy field.
Rice fish systems are also used as a hatchery environment for fry to
fingerling production. Rice field raised fingerlings are generally stronger
and as they have fed on wild feeds from more extensive systems. So
this type of decentralized “seed system” can introduce a new livelihood
enterprise for rice field owners. With the use of small-scale fish hatchery
technology, the production of fry and fingerlings for the local pond or rice
field aquaculture is thus a new enterprise.
Fish, combinations of Tilapia and cyprinids, are stocked 2000-4000
fingerlings/ha (5-15g). Supplemental feeds such as rice bran may be
needed if field fertility is low and lack endogenous feeds (see Feeds
Product sheet). The use of cement (pre-cast or formed) ring-tanks could
be used to create pond refuges in the rice field creating additional
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employment opportunities. The use of these refuges could off-set the
costs of maintain higher water levels. The stocking of tilapia may also be
beneficial for the increasing the biomass of more preferred wild fish, as
carnivorous species “crop” the biomass of the prolific cichlids.
The FiA has made a commitment for boosting rice field fisheries
(extensive) production so this could also include rice-fish aquaculture
components. There is generally still low intensity rice so pesticides may
not be a problem in many areas, but this is changing so an assessment
of rice-fish culture needs to be done per area considered.
Rice fish systems are highly profitable in many situations, depending on
water quality, presence of pesticides, management skills, etc. Useful
economic assessments for project purposes will be site specific. Ricefish economics depends directly on the economic/investment regimes of
the participating farmers. Total farm cash and net returns offer do not
differ significantly from rice monoculture, but with less pesticide use
there are reduced costs and environmental benefits. Some studies
(Preen and Day 2001) have shown an increase profitability of $300400/ha/yr or a 30-40% over rice-monoculture ($1000/ha/yr). Having
government provide free fingerlings can be the most significant cost
savings for start-up rice fish. However it is important to place rice-fish
benefits in terms of livelihoods diversification and not to focus only on
changes in income. Rice-fish can allow farmers to supply fish to the
domestic market in times of low wild fish availability and capture high
Rural fisheries must be integrated into the broader rural livelihoods, with
fish linked to agriculture via rice-fish, IPM or through aquaculture from
irrigation systems (IIA). With respect to wider wetlands/marginal water
bodies, the erosion of systems resilience driven by human interventions,
direct land use planning and water management must be acknowledge
when planning for increased aquatic production from human dominated
systems. Rice field fisheries can be part of as broader move towards
promoting FMAS (farmer managed aquatic systems), leading to
increased local food security.
Cambodia is still primarily low intensity rice production, as the use of
pesticides and herbicides is incompatible with rice-fish systems as well
as an adequate level of water for rice + fish must be available.
Rice-fish requires access to land and sufficient water availability for
paddies plus a supply of fish. It requires the farmer to be able secure his
fish crop against and predators.
FiA and Provincial fisheries Depts, FWUC, local farmer associations and
NGO supporters such CEPA, My Village Organization (MVI)-alternative
De la Cruz, C.R (ed.) 1994. Role of Fish in Enhancing Rice Field
Ecology in Integrated Pest management. ICLARM Conf. Proceedings
43. Google Books.
Mackay, K.T. (ed). 1995. Rice Fish Culture in China. IDRC Books
Page 49 of 61
Prein, M and Dey, M (2001). Rice and Fish Culture in Seasonally
Flooded Ecosystems, in IIRI, IDRC, FAO, NACA & ICLARM Utilizing
Different Aquatic Resources for Livelihoods in Asia: A Resource Book,
International Institute of Rural Reconstruction, Philippines. pp. 207–214.
Rich diversity of self-recruiting aquatic animals awaits Mekong rice
farmers. Catch and Culture 16(1). 2010.
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21. Product Name: Fish Feeds
Key Facts: Fish culture is poised to become a much larger contributor to the fisheries
and agricultural sectors in Cambodia. With the rapidly expanding hydro-electric industry
in the Mekong region, coupled with other forces, capture fisheries will continue to
decline. Fish supply would need to be made up by expanding aquaculture. Cambodians
eat a diverse range of species which feed low on the food chain so the feeding of these
species will be less expensive and more amenable to local feed inputs and processes.
How it works
All cultured fish need to be fed. External feeds can be made up from a
variety of material via a diverse set of milling processes. Feed material
can include on-farm materials such as rice bran, green and fresh
manures, compost, worms and insects. Ponds can generate their own
feeds via fertilizing the pond waters with external nutrients3.
1 Picture credit: Cambodia MSME http://www.cambodiamsme.org/index.php
Page 51 of 61
There is a great need to develop a national aquaculture feeds sector as
most ingredients and finished feeds are imported. There are potentially
many local feed ingredients that could be incorporated into feeds. Feed
milling can be done by local entrepreneurs who already operate micromills for rice.
Implementation is a matter of working with them to identify market
demand and ingredient sources, and to develop business plans and
business skills. The USAID funded MSME project has been working in
this sub-sector for several years now. That project is near completion so
there will be many experienced extension personnel, and feed millers
able to do farmer to farmer extension.
Start-up capital is needed begin feed making. Local or imported feed
milling, pellets/extrusion are required. As Cambodia has little animal
feed development, the development of processed aqua-feeds lags
Eventually any feed process will require a dietary analysis of local fish
nutrition needs, which will require research, testing and application. The
use of any wild fish for as a feed input would require a sustainability
analysis, but may reduce the current wild fish as feed situation. Using
Azolla (Azolla imbricata) and Lemna sp. as a pond-generated fish feed is
another option to keep feed costs down. There are integrated FishAzolla-Banana-Vegetable systems that could be adapted to Cambodia
Aquaculture will become increasingly more important to make up for the
declining supply from Mekong capture fisheries. As well, developing
poultry and cattle industries, may be critical for developing fish feed
Feed ingredient quality will need to be assessed for nutritional efficacy,
but would be able to highlight local feed innovation.
Cambodia MSME Project
Tel: (855) 23 222 496 / (855) 23 997 101
M-Tel: (855) 89 222 337 / (855) 89 222 338
Fax: (855) 23 222 495
Email: [email protected]
De Silva, S.S. and Hasan, M.R. 2007. Feeds and fertilizers: the key to
long-term sustainability of Asian aquaculture. In M.R. Hasan, T. Hecht,
S.S. De Silva and A.G.J.Tacon (eds). Study and analysis of feeds and
fertilizers for sustainable aquaculture development. FAO Fisheries
Technical Paper. No. 497. Rome, FAO. pp. 19–47.
Wilson, R.P. and K.L. Wee (eds). Fish Nutrition and Feeding
Proceedings of the Sixth International Symposium on Feeding and
Nutrition in Fish, Hobart, Australia. Aquaculture 151 (1/4):1-414. 1997.
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22. Product Name: Mat weaving.
Mats woven from a variety of natural fibers, kok chroung and kok moul (water reeds),
rumcheik (Pandanus sp.) and palm leaf are traditional products in rural Cambodia. Some
are basic utilitarian, as for rice drying mats, others are of very fine quality and highly
ornate, for home and ceremonial use. Many enterprises use traditional mats as raw
material for production of hand-bags and other products for sale to the tourism market
and for export. Thai importers of Cambodian mats add value by printing and dyeing, a
practice which could be added on the Cambodian side.
Many of the natural fiber plants are present in the WA project area, and there is already
some mat-weaving practiced. A field assessment of the value chain is needed in order to
identify opportunities and constraints.
How it works
Access to markets, product improvement in response to market
requirements, and environmental management of the raw material
resource, are among several aspects needing attention. Implementation
efforts will include:
Identify and engage resource persons for handicraft technical
assistance, to work with women’s groups on marketing, design, and
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• Assess available markets and identify appropriate responses by the
• Provide business and technical skills development assistance to
Although grass mat production takes time and is laborious, it does
generate supplementary income for villagers, especially when no other
cash earning options are available to them. Based on the preliminary
Assessment, economic analysis from Kampong Chhnang in 2005, the round grass
mat the Kok Chroung grass mat appears not profitable. Nonetheless,
employment is scarce in the area, especially for women. Therefore, if
family labour is assumed to have zero opportunity cost (as is sometimes
the case), then grass mat production adds additional income. Mat
weaving is compatible with other household responsibilities.
Two persons can make 5 mats (size = 1.5 m x 1.9 m) per day. The
production varies depending upon the availability of grass. On average,
two laborers can make 60 mats per season (Late May to July). The farm
gate price of a mat varies from 900 – 1200 Riel depending on the
demand and the quality.
Many grass mats are in fact exported by traders to Thailand, via the
informal route through Poipet. Thai buyers add value by printing colorful
designs on the mats, and then on-sell to the Thai market. It was stated
by the weavers that the traders have said that Thai consumers actually
prefer the natural grass mats, over the cheaper plastic alternatives which
are readily available. The existence of his value chain suggests an
opportunity for capturing the value-addition within Cambodia, thus
increasing the net returns to the village women who make the mats.
Further field work is necessary to determine the status of this possibility.
Traditional mat weaving in Cambodia uses a number of different plant
fibers as raw materials, some collected from the wild and some
cultivated. Increased production of particular types in response to market
demand will have environmental implications, through over-harvesting
and through possible unsustainable farming practices (pesticides etc.).
Villagers in Kampong Chhnang reported that there are resources of
water reeds available but they are declining. Some villagers cultivate the
same variety of reed, so there is an opportunity to develop this resource.
The Pandanus fiber romcheik is in plentiful supply and grows easily in
village hedgerows. Waste-water from use of chemical dyes will have
pollution effects. These impacts on the natural capital of villages will
require attention from the villagers and the personnel who provide
technical assistance to any initiative, and mitigation measures developed
as part of any “technical package”.
There are many mat weaving groups in Pursat Province. In Siem Reap,
the company “Baskets of Cambodia” works with villagers to produce
woven mats and value-added products like hand bags.
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23. Product Name: Brooms
Key Facts: Brooms made from various marsh and other grasses, and brush, are
commonly used in Cambodian households. Many are imported from Vietnam.
Manufacture is very simple, and can be done by women and seniors at home. Suitable
raw materials are available in the WA project area.
How it works
Broom making in Khammouane, Lao PDR
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Implementation of broom-making enterprises could best be done
through women’s self-help groups. Skills training can be done by study
visits to producers elsewhere in Cambodia. Some market research
should be done to see if there is a higher end niche market for brooms of
a particular material, quality or style. The Lao brooms pictured above in
the hands of the women entrepreneurs who manage the production are
of particularly fine quality and fetch a premium price.
Ordinary brooms in Phnom Penh are sold for from KHR 2,100 to KHR
8,000 (US$2) depending on quality.
One financial constraint is that the grass harvests are seasonal, and
enough raw material must be purchased in season for the whole year (or
at least the broom-making months). Micro-credit services and/or group
savings can be used to bridge this gap.
Environment As for mat weaving, attention needs to be paid to the sustainability of the
natural grass resources. As these are mostly aquatic, such management
can be done through the Community Fishery associations.
Company Name: Brooms Cambodia ent.
191, Tonle Sap Rd. , Village 1, Sangkat Chroy Changva
Phnom Penh Telephone: 855-0128-68321
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24. Product Name: Roof Thatch
Key Facts: Roof thatch production is a secondary livelihood alternative for farm families
in places where the reed material can be collected from the river-banks and forest. The
product is simple and is already made by poor people using traditional knowledge. It is
easy to sell at a good price. The product can be used to make roofs and walls of houses
and kchos (relaxation huts) and for other purposes.
This activity can contribute to livelihood diversification among women in the poorest
landless families, using available resources from the area surrounding their homes,
making products with demand both inside and outside the community
How it works Roof thatch production is not high technology, but it needs introduction of
the required skills The following are requirements for this activity:
Mature reeds are cut at the base and then dried in the sun. Bamboo
splits are used as the main backbone part of the product with reeds
wrapped around and sewn to make the roof thatch. The product is
about 25cm wide and a meter long, depending on user requirement.
Well made thatching is tightly sewn and thick, giving a water-tight and
A skilled producer can make about 20 pieces a day.
The product can be sold to the local community or to nearby shops
that sell wooden poles and bamboo. Some collectors buy for
provincial markets and to areas with scarcity of resources for thatch
Thatch is the most commonly used roofing material among Cambodia’s
poor, being much cheaper than metal sheets and ceramic tiles. The
required skills are basic and present in most communities. Women are
the key players in the production and marketing.
The approach to implementation should be through women’s
entrepreneur groups to harvest the reed (sbov) in season, dry and store
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for processing at off peak labor seasons. Some operating capital will be
required, to pay for seasonal labor. This can be addressed through
savings groups and micro-credit.
A skilled worker with materials at hand can make about 20 pieces of
thatch per day. About half a day is required to collect and prepare (dry
and size) the raw material. So in effect a skilled worker can produce
Assessment, thirteen pieces per day including collection and preparation. Usual selling
price is KHR1,000 per piece, or KHR13,000 per day, a bit over US$3.00.
This is a good net return for a woman working at home. This kind of
enterprise is best done by mutual support groups which enable
specialization, access to capital, and better market power.
Environment Thatch materials can be over-harvested like any wild population.
Community based natural resource management should be in place.
FAO-UNDP-ILO- UNESCO Joint Project on Creative Industry Support
Program (CISP) (http://www.un.org.kh/undp/what-wedo/projects/creative-industries-support-programme)
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25. Product Name: Bamboo Pre-processing
In the target area, bamboo is used extensively for basketry, mostly by women working at
home. The value chain extends into markets in Thailand and has been well studied. The
natural supply of bamboo is declining. Management and cultivation are readily feasible.
Simple hand-powered mechanization of raw material preparation (splitting and trimming
bamboo stems) could make these women’s labor much more profitable for their
households. This mechanization could be done by local micro-enterprises based on selfhelp groups.
How it works
Cambodia has extensive resources of both wild and domesticated
bamboos. The status and trends of the bamboo resources in the country
have been poorly described as to species composition, extent, condition
and utilization patterns, but evidence is that the resources are in decline.
As elsewhere in Asia, bamboos are important materials for rural
livelihoods, for house construction, a wide range of baskets and other
tools, and as human food (bamboo shoots). There is significant export
of unprocessed bamboo to Vietnam and Thailand. Large numbers of
utilitarian bamboo baskets are exported to Thailand and some to
Vietnam, through informal border trade.
Niche market bamboo handicraft
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Hand Splitting Strips for
Coarse Splitter (manual)
Weaving a Rice Basket
Appropriate machinery as pictured above (and other items) may be too
expensive for an individual household, but not for a group. The WA
project communities already have some bamboo basketry and other
handicraft. These products already have markets and developed value
chains. The suggested intervention is to enable a women’s group to
specialize in the pre-processing of bamboo stems through simple
mechanization in a community based pre-processing center. This will
make women’s household handicraft labor (basket weaving and the like)
far more efficient, increasing incomes and sparing women’s labor for
higher value tasks.
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Equipment for a bamboo pre-processing center would cost less than
$500. A simple thatched shelter with packed earth floor would be
Environment The main social benefit will be increased net incomes to bamboo basket
weavers (mostly women) through mechanization of the presently
laborious material preparation steps.
USAID HARVEST project now embarking on a new Cambodian bamboo
assessment in four northern Tonle Sap provinces.
“Mekong Bamboo Sector Feasibility Study”. Enterprise Opportunities
Ltd. IFC/MPDF and Oxfam Hong Kong.
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