By Mengey Eng
| April 27, 2017
Following promising results in the first year, WCS and SMP’s Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) field trial, with funding from Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), is beginning its activities for the second year, allowing local farmers to register to be member of SRP to increase their rice yields and get involved in environmental protection and wildlife conservation.
SRP is a global scheme that was created to increase the sustainability of rice farming using 12 measures of sustainability, ranging from water use, inputs, biodiversity conservation and labor rights. Taken together, these measures significantly contribute to protecting the environment and wildlife, meanwhile improving livelihood of local farmers. WCS is trialing SRP in seven targeted villages (Chhouk, Prey Kla, Kampong Veng, Kouk Roveang, Anlong Pring, Kompreal, and Prey Kla) of Prolay Commune, Stung District, Kompong Thom Province. This area is adjacent to the Northern Tonle Sap Protected Landscape (NTSPL) and is used by the Critically Endangered Bengal Florican when they disperse from their protected breeding grounds. SRP farmers agree not to hunt Bengal Florican, and are being encouraged to grow legumes that will increase insect food for the birds. The SRP rice is purchased by BRICO, and exported to Mars.
So far, more than 140 families are members of the SRP field trial. Those members have been trained with necessary growing rice techniques and provided rice feed for growing. They have agreed to respect the SRP regulations, including reducing chemical use, caring about the environment and taking part in conserving wild animals, especially Bengal Floricans, so that they are eligible to sell their rice as SRP.