On February 9th Angka Changrit NGO held an exciting and incredibly productive directors meeting. We mapped the rollout for our 2020 cricket farmer technical support plan.
Our primary objective at this meeting was to bring our collective research together to create a new and optimized cricket housing structure specifically designed with our 500 (and growing) Cambodian cricket farmers in mind.
The traditional Asian method of cricket farming involves the farmers constructing large cement and brick pens with typical dimensions of 2-3 meters in width by 3-6 meters in length.
These large pens are built either under houses or with separate roofs. By sheer volume of usage across Southeast Asia it is clear that large cement pens are a viable method for Cricket farming.
The problem with large cement pens however is that they require a large initial investment and are entirely fixed and unable to be relocated. They also cannot be stacked vertically and require a significant amount of unused land space rendering them impractical for urban farming potential.
The second common type of cricket pens in Cambodia are large wooden framed boxes with thin plywood panels. These boxes are significantly cheaper to construct initially and can be stacked vertically. The downside is they face issues of sturdiness and longevity. The wood weakens and breaks quite easily and Farmers find the need to constantly be replacing damaged boxes at the risk of watching their entire heard of crickets walk through the cracks.
The Angka Changrit team, lead by (Dr. Tith, Josh, Curran, Chhorvorn), decided to improve on the modular box method by designing much stronger modular box units based on the specific parameters and dimensions of locally available and affordable construction materials across Cambodia.
The key components are steel “L” beams and Vivoboard which are available everywhere. The end result is the “Cambodian Cricket Pen” which offers higher quality cricket housing coupled with significantly reduced maintenance costs.
The boxes can be stacked vertically and are fully mobile if the farmers want to relocate the pens or sell the pens. If any single panel breaks it can be replaced individually.
The goal of Angka Changrit is to support micro-livestock farming in Cambodia as a vehicle for poverty reduction and livelihood improvement. The specific materials list and construction specifications, which will be made FREELY available to all cricket farmers in Cambodia (and worldwide), will be available from our website.