IBIS Rice Program
Working together to provide a meaningful opportunity for rural households to earn living incomes while discontinuing activities like logging and poaching.
The IBIS Rice program involves an innovative partnership between Sansom Mlup Prey Organization and our market-facing partner, the Ibis Rice Conservation Company, Ltd. (IRCC).
SMP and IRCC started as a project to promote the cultivation of premium-quality, organic rice in remote communities inside the Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary in Cambodia’s northwestern province of Preah Vihear.
This area is home to a unique savanna ecosystem that is the habitat of the critically-endangered Giant Ibis, Cambodia’s national bird. Unfortunately, with few alternatives, destructive activities like logging and poaching can be financially lucrative activities for people in the area who need meaningful employment opportunities to thrive. This conflict creates severely negative consequences for the Giant Ibis and the integrity of the ecosystem, and threatens their future existence.
To address this issue is the central goal of the IBIS Rice Program.
Together with IRCC, we work to provide a meaningful opportunity for rural households to earn living incomes, while discontinuing these harmful activities. SMP provides agronomic support to farmers, which includes training and demonstrations on organic and wildlife-friendly standards and practices. SMP also helps to conduct the required auditing and quality inspections to ensure organic compliance. Concurrently, IRCC provides a guaranteed buyer, marketing expertise, and premium international and domestic market access for rice produced according to these standards.
At the center of this arrangement are conservation agreements with individual farmers that stipulate they will not engage in land clearing, logging, or wildlife poaching, nor use harmful agrochemicals on their fields. IRCC then purchases the rice produced according to these standards at premium prices; farmers are paid an average 30 to 40% more than standard market prices for their harvest.
The final product is IBIS Rice - a premium quality Jasmine rice that is sold domestically and internationally to consumers seeking environmentally and ethically responsible rice.