AKP: Phnom Penh October 27, 2005
H.E. Chan Sarun, Minister of Agriculture declared the establishment of an emergency market in an effort to eliminate a sort of pest that is threatening the cultivated areas in the country.
"Farmers can collect golden snails from the field and sell them to agriculture departments ", the Minister said
during his weekend visit to Chhouk district in Kampong Speu province to examine the impacts of pest.
The Minister's suggestion was applauded as ideal approach as farmers, especially the ministry would spends tens of thousands of dollars in getting insecticide to kill the pest. Moreover, he cautioned farmers not to use pesticides to kill the snails because this will also kill other types of beneficial insects.
The Minister offered 300 Riels (Cambodian currency) for one kilogram of the snail and 50 Riels for a whole piece of the snail's nest.He urged farmers to collect adult snails by hand and transport ducks to newly transplanted rice fields to feast on the snails’ eggs.
A WB report says that process is underway in the Philippines, where the snails have proven cheaper than pricey commercial feeds for mallard duck farmers.
The Minister recommended that red ants, which also feed on the eggs, can help to deter the spread of the snail, infestations of which scientists say can destroy up to 60 percent of farmers’ rice crops. (ends)