Our Condolences to Niek Srer Champion

Mr Phaen with his most recent Drum Seeder which includes a development that ensures seeds are released evenly over rough fields, June 2016. Photo: Oxfam

Our Condolences to Niek Srer Champion

Mr Pan Pen’s passion was to produce agricultural equipment that benefits the rice farming community in Takeo province. He trained local employees to modify and create new tools that ease the physical labour of farming and is the only major farm equipment producer in the province. Since he joint Oxfam's project to promote women farming through our partner RACHANA he has produced 3,000 Rice Dragons (Niek Srer) that have been transported throughout Cambodia and he continued finding way to improve the tool more effectively.

Mr Pen has successfully created a sustainable business as a fabricator of modern farming technologies. He used to say "my secret to success is developing machines the farmers love as much as I do."

He died last Monday when he was sleeping. Based on the information from our partner, the doctor said he had heart attack.

It attacked not only him but the hope we and farmers have for him to improve agriculture sector in the community.

"I am very sorry to hear the lost. He had contributed a lot to the community. He did not only sell the equipments but he also went to the field with farmers to show them how to use it. Often, he collected feedback from the community on what work and what did not work with those equipments so that he could improve them to meet farmers need. We hope villagers who saw the tools he made will learn to produce it in the future." 

It's hard to find someone who has a good heart and very participative like him. What he did was not just about money but he wanted to help his community. I remember I met him once and he was very friendly. At that time we discussed about possibility to localize drum seeder. Drum seeder was originally used to transplant rice but farmers found it less effective since they need to plant other crop like bean in some seasons where rice could not be planted. Pen worked out the tool by adding a whole where bean can come out and there is an option in which farmers can switch whether they want bean or rice to come out. The tool was very useful and cost effective. We have invested a lot in him both capacity building, time and money. he himself also invested a lot in creating these innovative agriculture tools. I'm so sorry to hear that he passed away.

Oxfam and partners wish to share our condolences to Mr. Pan Pen's family. May his soul rest in peace.