Sunday, 23 October 2011


Yesterday Klaus,

took us (Basti, Xenia and myself)

Xenia in the pepper plantation

out to visit the Pepper farms that he works with. They are about an hour east of Kampong Cham in a place called Dar in Mamot Province - I just looked at the map and it is right on the border to Vietnam.
Klaus works with the Pepper Co-orperative that has been set up over there - the farmers have joined together so that they can get better value for their pepper.

I don't think I had ever seen a pepper plant before and had always presumed it was a bush but they grow like vines - they plant 3 around a post which stands 4.5m tall. For the first 2 years they have to be covered and so they make a cage of palm leaves around and above the plants to protect them.

You can start harvesting after 2 years and the plant will provide 60% of it's yield but after 3 years you can get 100% yield - the plants have a lifespan of about 20 years.

Apparently Cambodia produces 2% of the worlds pepper - most people only know Kampot pepper which is a southern province here in Cambodia however in Mamot they have a higher yield of pepper than Kampot and of course it is better quality - well Klaus would say that!!

These are 5 year old plants


You can see here the poles they grow up around

This is showing the cage they create around young pepper plants to protect them - made from palm leaves

Inside the cage with plants that were planted this year

The plants in the background are 2 years old

One of the pickers work stations

The cage also doubles up as a growing frame for other veggies

Here is some pepper the farmer was drying for his own use

In the front is Cassava growing but behind is all pepper - you can see the shelters protecting the young crops

Cassava plants - you can see the soil here is very red, so very fertile for growing crops

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