A MESSAGE FROM TRIPLE F
FOUNDER RASY SIM
Local small farmers need to be paid in immediate cash for crops and living expenses. Unfortunately, the big businesses operate on a rigid 60 to 90 day payment cycle after receiving a bill. This gap of an 8-12 week payment period to a 2-week planting cycle is not sustainable for the farmers. And small businesses and suppliers need immediate cash or very short payments to stay afloat and to directly pay the farmers. Under these conditions neither farmers nor suppliers can survive or succeed in the long term.
This payment squeeze results in small outputs, discouraging greater production and expansion. Eventually, imports from neighboring countries fill the gap, taking away opportunities from local businesses and farmers creating even more poverty in the community. To address this problem we have been working for years to establish a Mutual Cash Advance revolving fund to assist wholesalers in making immediate cash payments to farmers.
FAMILY FOOD FARMING KIT
Responding to the global financial crisis in 2008 we introduced a kit system called "Family Food Farming” in association with the Siem Reap Department of Agriculture and local farmers.
The objectives are to:
* Produce and supply reliable seeds on a sustainable basis, suitable for the local conditions. The present supply is either home-saved seed, or comes from other farmers who save seed. These seeds produce an unreliable low-yielding product. A small amount of imported seed is used but is expensive for a poor population. There is no supply of local high-production seed to improve yield. With the support of local government we will establish a seed production unit, close to Siem Reap City, for distribution throughout the province.
* Provide 1,200 families (7,200 to 9,600 individuals) with a food farming kit to produce consistent fruit and vegetable crops. One kit covers 60 square meters and will provide enough food for 6 to 8 people. Initial training and on-going extension advice will be provided.
* Establish a women's farmer group to produce traditional brown and black rice. This is a traditional method of producing rice for which there is an existing unsatisfied market.
* Produce a reliable and suitable fertilizer supply on a sustainable basis for fruit, vegetable, and paddy production. Right now there is no source of local cost- effective organic fertilizer. As with the seeds, a fertilizer production unit will be established close to Siem Reap City with the support of the local government, for distribution throughout the province.
* Provide training and ongoing extension advice to the value added chain.
* Provide reliable consistent markets for surplus products beyond what a family farm needs to feed itself. Our training will encourage year round production of a greater variety of fruits and vegetables, both leaf and root. This will provide a reliable supply of food for self-consumption and additional income from the guaranteed sale of any surplus. Additional training will be provided as required for the value added chain.
* Train and equip local wholesalers to satisfy the requirements of the end user and to communicate this to the farmers.
-- Rasy Sim, Triple F
TRIPLE F SEEKS FUNDING TO BOOST FARMING, INCOMES IN CAMBODIA'S SIEM REAP PROVINCE
Fresh From Farm (Triple F) was founded in 2004 for the social, economic and environmental development in the agricultural sector of Cambodia’s Siem Reap Province. Started as a 100 % private business owned by Mr. Sim Rasy, who remains its chief operating officer, it became an association in April 2010. We work closely with the Siem Reap Department of Agriculture, and are a member and partner in "One Village - One Product."
To help farmers in Siem Reap Province become self-sufficient with short-term food security (home gardens) and achieve a better standard of living.
1-By providing farmers with the necessary tools and training , and by developing bio-intensive farming. This is the most appropriate system to reach that objective, via farming, vegetable gardens, and raising fish, poultry, and pigs.
2-By increasing production within each village according to the concept “One Village-One Product.” This will help to ensure that each family can earn additional income to provide medical care and education.
The association’s activities are:
Our Organic Farm
Family Food Farming Kit
1 Village - 1 Product
Our objective is to train the association’s farmers so they can achieve self sufficiency while conserving resources.
Family Food Farming:
The most basic need of any farm is to feed members of the immediate family. We have developed “Family Food Farming,” a small-scale and sustainable agricultural system that nurtures soil, produces high yields, conserves resources, and can be used successfully by almost all farmers.
To generate more income and help more families -- and encourage new villages to participate -- our association is planning two major projects:
1) First is an "Organic Food Centre" (OFC) in Phnom Penh working directly with 100 villages or 100 associations or 5,000 individuals (1 village = 1 association = 10 families = 50 individuals). The center is fully diagrammed here. Based on the "1 Village - 1 Product concept," we'll have approximately 100 products to sell daily in the center, including meat, poultry, fish, organic vegetables, fruits, and rice. With the daily income, we can pay the poor farmers weekly. This immediate payment to them is critical to their economic survival. Triple F Association will handle management, logistics, packaging, processing, marketing, plus communication between consumers and growers. All products coming from each village or association will carry their own brand name, and will be certified by the Provincial Department of Agriculture as safe and organic. The investment required is USD 100,000. This includes rental of the center, equipment (chiller rooms for meat and veggies/fruits), renovation and layout, and working capital for three months.
2) Our second priority is to set up a processing unit for dry food. We currently have a surplus of fruits and some root vegetables. With this processing we can add value for this excess, which might otherwise have to be thrown away. The investment required is USD 200,000 including building warehouse, equipment (int'l standard) and working capital for three months.
How you can help:
They are 3 ways you can help Triple F Association continue its work across villages and reduce poverty in Cambodia.
1-Become a member
2-Make a loan with a low interest rate (<6% per year)
3-Make a donation.
Contribution and Membership fees (monthly or yearly) :
USD 40 Support
Thank you for choosing to help us with this work. Newsletter will be provided.
Dedication: ( ) On behalf of ( ) In honor of ( ) In memory of
City:______________________ State: ____________________
Postal code:_____________ Country: _____________________
Account number: 020.02.30.05109.2
Name : Sim Rasy, Mr.
Bank: Cambodian Public Bank, Siem Reap Branch.
Or : Money Transfer by Western Union to Mr. Sim Rasy.
For many years 80%-90% of the wholesale fresh food supplied to hotels and restaurants in Cambodia’s Siem Reap Province has been imported from abroad. A prime example is fruits and vegetables brought in from neighboring Thailand and Vietnam.
Today, local farmers in the province are capable of growing these fresh products with natural fertilizers, and competing against chemical-sprayed imports. Step by step we want to introduce locally-grown organic fresh products with standard quality to reduce imports and improve the local diet. We also aim to develop other products the market needs, to help the local farmers increase their incomes and thus reduce poverty.
When I moved to Siem Reap Province in 2000 I was struck by how it remains one of Cambodia’s poorest, even though the presence of Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples brings in more tourist revenues than any other province. Nine out of 10 province residents live below the official poverty line. My vision focuses on reduction of poverty and improvement in food security for this 90%.
In September 2004 we began as a wholesale business specializing in local meat, poultry, fish, fruit, and vegetables. We provide our services to the local international standard to hotels and restaurants in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, and distribute to local supermarkets based on hygienic quality fresh products and good service.
Until spring of 2010 Triple F operated as a private initiative of myself as proprietor, supported and certified by the Provincial Department of Agriculture and the Governor of Siem Reap Province. In April 2010 Triple F became an Association.
We have established a solid record of excellent support to our customers. Our relationship with executives and chefs at hotels and restaurants, and with others, attests to the abilities of Triple F. Their expressions of satisfaction encourage us to continue our growth with expanded and even higher quality organic fresh products and services.
In 2007, in partnership with the Siem Reap Department of Agriculture, we established a two-hectare farm producing organic vegetables at Teukvil Station, on the Baray road, Teukvil Commune, Puork District, Siem Reap Province.
We are a pro-active member of the Agricultural Production & Marketing Coordinating Committee (APMCC) and are in charge of its marketing department. This committee is composed of the Siem Reap Department of Agriculture, the Apsara Authority (which oversees Cambodia’s ancient temples), various non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector.
CASH CRUNCH HURTS CAMBODIAN FARMERS
Our experience has shown that there is a market for local farm produce and the demand is increasing year over year. The current market players are the local farmers, small business suppliers, proprietors, and the big businesses, namely standard international hotels, restaurants, and supermarkets. However, we have found that the biggest obstacle to the small farmer’s survival and success is the present inflexible system of payment and billing.
Map & photo of Triple F's organic farm & food processing facility at Teukvil Station outside Siem Reap (Angkor City), Cambodia.