Rice Dragon is a weeding tool innovated by women farmers to reduce weeds in the rice paddy. In Cambodia, a majority of small-scale farmers has a total of a hectare of rice paddy or less.
Using traditional method they cannot make many yields or benefits to support their family. But if they practice SRI and use Niek Srer (Rice Dragon), they can increase their products twice or even more. Weed management is a key challenge in rice farming in Cambodia.
Traditionally, famers largely women have to bend over for days to remove weeds by hand from their fields. This is very exhausting, time-consuming, and ineffective. Seeing a potential increase in yields if the farmers use Niek Srer for cultivation, Oxfam has supported a marketing campaign to raise awareness of the product and get farmers to use it.
Many poor farmers are very interested in Niek Srer after many marketing campaign has reached their villages as well as other villages across the country. Some farmers are so happy when Niek Srer is demonstrated in the rice field during the marketing campaign because they can see it makes the soil aerating and weed removing. So far, Niek Srer has been used by more 250 farmers across the country.
Many of the users have claimed that if used properly, this tool can increase their yields by up to one tonne per hectare. This means the potential increase in the value of smallholder crops is very high, and this income can improve their livelihood and support the family needs.
The only challenge for Niek Srer is farmers are required to change their traditional rice farming habit to cultivate rice using a method called System of Rice Intensification or SRI. ( Produced by Savann Oeurm and Music by Kevin Macleod)