A STORM BEFORE THE RAINBOW

Published: Jul 6, 2022 Reading time: 3 minutes
A STORM BEFORE THE RAINBOW
© PIN Cambodia
 Sang Sarin is a chick producer member residing in Rolea B’ier District, Kampong Chhnang. Before COVID-19 hit, his family managed a small chicken farm with only 10 hens and roosters, and for each phase of egg laying and egg hatching, he could harvest between 30 and 50 chicks depending on the season. ‘This also needs to consider the mortality rate, which accounted for almost 50% of the total chicks,’ says Sarin.

To earn additional income and to support their family’s needs, he and his wife run another small business, which is selling papaya salad and meatball. This business is seasonal event-based as they get more customers only when there is a crowd from events, which means they could not secure a stable income from this. 

He joined the RECOVER project starting in October 2021. His first experience was somewhat shocking. For no defined reasons, all his 40 chickens died, leaving him with only chicken pen and causing him to lose 3 million Khmer Riel (KHR) at that time. This tragedy, however, did not leave him hopeless and feeling like giving up.

He restarted in March with support from the RECOVER project team, and currently, he has 63 hens and roosters. However, broiler raising is just an addition to his main business, which is producing and supplying chicks to the market. He gets egg inputs from egg producers under the RECOVER project and also eggs laid by his own chickens.

He has gained a lot of additional skills in proper egg incubation, medication and vaccination for chicks, egg fertility testing, feeding, disease control, and vaccination for broilers. With all these new technical skills, he’s able to improve his business much more than before, and the result indeed satisfied him.

With his feed production technique for broilers, he is able to reduce the expense on feed purchase as mixing with natural ingredients is almost cost-free. Before, he used to spend almost 500,000 KHR per month, whereas now, it falls to just 300,000 KHR.

His business has gradually improved with the project’s support. When he first started this business, he got almost no profit at all due to high expenses in production inputs, and high chick mortality rate. The fertility was 5% during the first month, while in the following month of more RECOVER support, it increased to 62.5%. From incubating once in every 2 to 3 months to incubating 4 to 5 times per month. From earning a maximum of 200,000KHR per month to 2 million KHR per month from the chick production business. With this improvement, it helps him gain from almost no profit to a profit of 400,000 KHR per month.

Sarin says, ‘he wants to increase the number of parents stock raised and produce more chicks as the current supply to market is less than the actual demand. Raising more parent stock would give him more input for egg incubation and would reduce the input expenses.

All this support from the RECOVER project helps locals recover from COVID-19 impacts and create sustainability through equipping farmers with life-long skills and knowledge. Even after the project ends, they can still practice all these proper techniques. This would also change locals’ mindsets from migrating abroad to work on poultry-raising businesses and stay closer to their families.

‘Chicken raising is not too hard and does not require much time. What we really need is patience and commitment. Especially, if you have a chance to learn more techniques to scale up your business, go for it,’ Sarin shares his message with other farmers.

Author: Sophika Kun, PIN Cambodia Communication Officer