The Tasey Samaki Agricultural Cooperative (TSAC) in Battambang, Cambodia, stands as a shining example of the power of cooperative farming and the economies of scale that allow it to generate productive capital. Established in 2017, TSAC has grown from a small cooperative with just $2,000 in capital to a thriving organization with over $70,000 in total capital, providing a sustainable and profitable livelihood for its 172 farming households.
TSAC specializes in growing high-quality vegetables in mesh greenhouses, minimizing the use of chemical agents. The cooperative also offers greenhouse construction services and training to other farmers, promoting sustainable farming practices across the region. By combining resources and expertise, TSAC has been able to produce quality vegetables more efficiently and meet the growing demand for safe, high-quality produce.
The cooperative’s director, Nop Nonn, explains that TSAC’s primary focus is on producing vegetables that conform to international safety standards. The cooperative selects seeds according to the standards prescribed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, ensuring low microbial contamination and high-quality produce.
Despite the growing demand for safe vegetables in markets across Cambodia, including Phnom Penh, Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, and Siem Reap, TSAC has struggled to meet the demand due to unseasonably high temperatures affecting their yields. However, the cooperative remains committed to its mission and continues to explore ways to increase production.
In addition to vegetable farming, TSAC constructs 80 to 100 mesh greenhouses for farmers in other provinces each month, generating additional income for the cooperative. Nonn notes that the price for each greenhouse depends on its size and the distance the team has to travel for construction.
TSAC also plays a crucial role in marketing the vegetables produced by its members, arranging sales contracts and finding clients for its greenhouse construction business. Most of the cooperative’s members have secondary occupations and farmland, further contributing to the local economy and community.
The success of the Tasey Samaki Agricultural Cooperative demonstrates the potential for sustainable, cooperative farming in Cambodia. By pooling resources, expertise, and capital, small-scale farmers can overcome challenges and create a better future for themselves, their communities, and the environment.
Source: The PhnomPenh Post