Nethouses to expand safe vegetable value chains in Cambodia


This poster — with versions available in Khmer and in English — shows the needs and benefits related to using nethouses to grow vegetables with less pesticide in Cambodia. The poster was presented by Gnean Nak Da at the 2017 Vegetable Forum, with co-authors Karen LeGrand, Borarin Buntong, Cary Trexler, Glenn Young, James Hill, G. David Miller and Thong Kong. It was created as part of the Horticulture Innovation Lab project focused on building safe vegetable value chains in Cambodia. 

Addressing chemical use in vegetable production, through adoption of nethouses

Chemical overuse is a main problem that affects the quality and safety of vegetables as well as the health of humans. A simple technology for growing chemical-free vegetables while protecting them from pests is a nethouse. Growing safe vegetables using a nethouse is a way to improve human health and social welfare by reducing chemical inputs. Using nethouses can also help farmers improve household income by decreasing illness, agricultural inputs and chemical fertilizers.

This research project has expanded from establishing new value chain linkages to improve food safety in Kandal Province and has now constructed eight nethouses in Battambang Province in Anlongrun, Krous Village, and Tasey Village in Thmor Koul District. Preliminary evidence shows a very positive response from farmers and consumers who are interested in this technology because they see it benefits vegetable production and improves safety.

Benefits of using a nethouse for vegetable production

Direct benefits include:

  • Agriculture inputs are decreased
  • Yield is increased
  • Income is increased
  • Value added to vegetables

Indirect benefits can include:

  • Improved households health
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Food safety friendly
  • Potential to decrease imported vegetables from neighboring countries
  • Increased social welfare in Cambodia

Key arguments for using a nethouse:

  • More agricultural inputs are used when growing vegetables without a nethouse
  • Quality of vegetables grown outside the net is lower than vegetables grown inside the nethouse
  • More time is spent cultivating crops grown without a nethouse
  • Vegetable texture is improved by growing inside the nethouse
  • Consumers report vegetables are more delicious when they are grown inside a nethouse

Economic analysis of using a nethouse to grow vegetables:

  • Vegetables grown inside a nethouse net 250 square meters (m²) and can earn around $143.75 per month
  • Vegetables grown outside a nethouse net 250 m² and can earn around $56.25 per month
  • Vegetables grown inside a nethouse net 250 m² and require agricultural inputs around $16.90 per month
  • Vegetables grown outside a nethouse net 250 m² and require agricultural inputs around $32.75 per month

Basic steps for how to set up a nethouse:

  • Prepare land
  • Identify structure supports (bamboo, wood or iron)
  • Set up the structure
  • Sew the netting material to cover the structure
  • Make a double door to prevent pests from entering nethouse






Pest-exclusion nets