CEDAC calls for the conservation of rice stubble to improve soil fertility and farmer livelihood
On January 17th, 2013, CEDAC released a news article calling for the conservation of rice stubble. Conserving rice stubble after harvesting is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve farmer livelihood, especially soil fertility. Unfortunately, most farmers do not do so, and, in some cases, it is burned. CEDAC has been working for years to assist farmers to improve soil fertility. According to Dr. Yang Saing Koma, President of CEDAC, rice stubble is very useful as a natural resource for farmers to use as a fertilizer and to sustain their livelihoods. He added, “By conserving rice stubble and not burning it, farmers can keep it for the next farming season to help sustain the soil fertility, which can improve yields and help farmers to reduce the expense of fertilizer.”
Phin Nov, is a famer in Bunna village, Preah Buth commune of Kandal Stung district in Kandal province. He says that after farmers in his village have kept the rice stubble from being burned, their rice yields have increased and the soil quality of the rice fields has improved. He remarked that, “rice stubble is really a very useful resource for our soil and as a cover to protect rice fields from the heat of the sun.
To this end, CEDAC calls for farmers and other stakeholders to not burn rice stubble. Instead, the following should be done:
• Encourage farmers to plough rice fields after harvesting to keep as rice stubble as possible
• Educate farmers and especially children about the importance of rice stubble conservations and why it should not be burned
• Local authorities should consider regulations to promote conservation, i.e. fine farmers who burn rice stubble in the field.