EASY GROW ON LOCATION: HYDROPONICS IN CAMBODIA
Hydroponics in Cambodia
Easy Grow have been on location in Cambodia to look at how entrepreneurs are utilising hydroponics in business, selling hydroponically grown produce to market and hydroponic equipment to farmers, whilst also offering courses to other budding hydro farmers.
Hydroponics allows farmers to remove many of the difficulties of traditional farming whilst giving a very efficient system, allowing vegetation to flourish in an urban city, using just the electricity needed to power a small pump.
On our tour we visited a number of hydroponic farms, ranging from start-up to commercial farms.
Mr Reaksmey Hydro Farm: Siem Reap
At Mr Reasksmey Hydro Farm in Siem Reap, we spoke with the owner and also a student of theirs who was in the process of creating a start-up farm. They told us of the difficulties involved with growing hydroponically in the country – with high nighttime temperatures and difficulties in buying good quality seed at affordable prices. However, if they can make a success of the farms then there is high profit to be made.
The student told us “I currently have 8 PVC pipes to grow vegetables at my start up farm. These pipes are like a toy flute with holes punctures a set uniform distance apart. We then fill these with sponges carrying sprouted seedlings, and fill the systems with water diluted with nutrients to help the plants flourish. We experience high temperatures in Cambodia which can make it very difficult to grow, I’m also unable to make nutrients so I buy from Reaksmey Hydrofarm. He has worked on his farm his whole life with his wife growing small amounts of produce to sell at market and provide their income.
When considering a start up in Cambodia the most important thing is to keep the plants cool and humidified. The U.V. plastic cover protects these plants from the sun’s heat, rain and insects.
On another visit to a small start up farm in Siem Reap we spoke with the owner Bunroth, who has been receiving help from Kannika Farms in the town of Takhmao. At present Bunroth has just a small farm producing a limited number of fruits and vegetables, but hopes in time, to be able to increase production and start making a profit.
Kannika farms is one of the largest hydroponics farms in Cambodia, with more than 30 varieties of fruits and vegetables being grown and sold. They also offer classes to people wishing to start up their own farms and provide and install hydroponic systems. Having learnt the hydroponics technique in Thailand, the owner brought back the skills to Cambodia and invested in a full system from the firm, whilst continuing to research the techniques.
They now sell full systems capable of holding 90 plants, with free instaltation, for $500. This includes water pumps, pots, nutrients, sponges and seeds for 2 cycles. They also sell smaller set ups for $50. The majority of customers are foreigners and higher-income Cambodians from Phnom Penh. Offering free classes to students, the owner wants to share the trade with anyone who wants to learn and promote hydroponics to the people of Cambodia, even offering free starter packs to students. For others the classes are charged at $20 per person, with the starter packs being allowed to be taken home.
Aquaponics in Cambodia
There are also cases of Aquaponics being used in Cambodia, with an aquaponics farm in operation in Phnom Penh. Aquaponics is the combination of hydroponics with aquaculture
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