Friday, July 13, 2012

Cambodia: integrated farming project.

Cambodia must have suffered from too many wars. Thank God, everything looks alright now, politic is stable, people are busy, economy is really developing. The other day four of us, We, Na and Khir visited Siem Reap, Cambodia for 3 days 2 night staying at Myhibiscus Hotel and  which is run by Malaysian company from Shah Alam on 10 year lease.

There was this school named "darul ulum" which is financed by a foundation that became our focus. A friend is keen to finance the running of hostel for five years as his community social service. I was roped in to look into integrated farming that will promise sustainablity. At least students will learn about gardening and chicken rearing. Fresh vegetables grown by themselves would be good for their diet and late afternoon gardening work out will flex both their muscle and mind. The school is far from anything else, almost to the border of Thailand.

I just wonder whether I am qualified to offer help on integrated farming. All I have is passion, nothing else. I studied Civil Engineering at degree level and Construction at masters level. Gardening is something that I learn through the so called university of life,  just at the backyard. No certificate, no diploma, just pure passion. To that school in Cambodia, I am offering passion!

Within a month, the whole integrated farming will be drafted. It's going to be organic, manual no automation. I wonder if any of the readers like to share their experience in such endeavour............

1. integrated farming
The space is big, it is going to be a farm definitely more than a garden. I have to collect inputs and ideas to come up with suitable integrated farming project design. There would be pathways, drains, a store, a section for poultry rearing, another section for vegetable and fruit trees. The area should be accessible to vehicles for loading and deliveries. A decent pathway right through to the hostel would be neat and welcoming.

a large empty space to be converted into integrated farming project,
with hostel at the far end, half completed.

2. Furniture for the hostel
We went round looking for furniture, tables desks and beds. There was this long street, with furniture shops one after another. Musa a Cambodian associate suggested buying a large uncut timber, then someone will cut  it into planks and assemble the furniture as requested. Huh, so interesting approach! Musa said it would a lot cheaper that way....

simple table and chairs
simple wooden bed

3. Bricks
We never use hollow bricks in Malaysia...., so definitely I was quite amused to see hollow bricks being widely used in Cambodia.
bricks for construction

4.  Myhibiscus Hotel and Resort (formerly Angkor Monarch Hotel)
We stayed in Myhibiscus Hotel. The room was alright, swimming pool at the front, food and hospitality was excellent. Very affordable indeed.  I noticed a familiar vine zehneria of  cucurbitaceae family. I grew zehneria before in Tanah Merah but sadly had to leave them when we moved to Johor.

hotel staircase: I love their ethnic repetitive motif 

a fruit of zehneria vine. malaysians call it timun tikus

Before the end of the year, students staying in the hostel would have something interesting to do in the afternoon: grow vegetables and fruit trees, rear chickens, and learn the basics of organic integrated farming.  Soon they would learn about sustainability. The four of us would have to return to Cambodia once or twice to roll out the project. I am still looking for ideas.....

email :
bangchik and kakdah
pasir gudang johor


  1. Bangchik.

    Gembira dengan kesungguhan bangchik dan rakan-rakan membantu rakyat Kemboja. Kami doakan berjaya.


  2. God bless Bangchik, i know you can do it even with closed eyes. Besides, an engineer can learn agriculture with passion, an agriculturist can also engineer a shed or a farmhouse with passion. I am sure you are so excited about that. I've been to Phnom penh and Siem Reap and i think the weather is good for farming. I envy you because i am the agriculturist whose dream is to be a carpenter but hasn't yet made even a stool.

    1. Andrea...... Cambodia is blessed with good soil and weather. Anything can grow. It should be fun trying to do things on voluntary basis. I can only help them with integrated farming like a gardener but not the way agriculturist like you can. May I offer a small advice on your intention to be a carpenter, firstly, familiarise with nail, wood and hammer. Get two pieces of wood and nail the two!

  3. Good to see that you are doing this project in Cambodia... I salute you...


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