National conservation organisation NatureLife Cambodia has announced that more than 95 per cent of southeastern Kampot farmers participating in its Crane Rice project had qualified for a scheme, where the NGO buys a share of unharvested rice crop at above market rates, which is left for sarus cranes to feast on.
National conservation organisation NatureLife Cambodia has announced that more than 95 per cent of southeastern Kampot farmers participating in its Crane Rice project had qualified for a scheme, where the NGO buys a share of unharvested rice crop at above market rates, which is left for sarus cranes to feast on.
The sarus crane (Antigone antigone) is listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species as “Vulnerable”.
The Crane Rice project was initiated to reinforce conservation efforts for the birds, and improve the local livelihoods of farmers in Anlung Pring Protected Landscape, of Kampot province’s Kampong Trach district near the border with Vietnam’s Kien Giang province.
However, the NGO has set 12 criteria for participants to be eligible for the associated purchasing scheme.
Under the Crane Rice project, rice growers are to leave five per cent of their crop unharvested for the cranes to feed on the grains from the stalks, which NatureLife Cambodia pays for at above market rate – but only if all the criteria are met.
The NGO said: “After the 2021 harvest season ended, according to the compliance report, we saw that two of 41 participating farmers failed to meet one of the 12 criteria.

“As agreed, the project bought five per cent of the rice yields – to be left in the fields for the sarus cranes – from the 39 successful growers at higher prices.”
Crane Rice is implemented by the NGO, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Cambodian Rural Development Team (CRDT), with financial support from the Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund through BirdLife International Tokyo.
“From December 18-20, we conducted field visits to the rice farms of those growers who made the grade, and processed their payments.
“The Crane Rice farmers expressed their delight and committed to continue collaborating with the project for the benefit of their livelihoods and also to contribute to the conservation of the sarus crane,” NatureLife Cambodia said.



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