Sustainability goals in UNICAM

Author(s): Helena GUASCH
University of Girona (Spain)
e-mail: helena.guasch@udg.edu

It was in 2015 when the General Assembly of the UN agreed on the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. There is a great number of challenges that the new agenda will have to address since poverty, gender inequality and young unemployment are still very high. To this is added the huge concern still caused by natural resources depletion and environmental degradation. Another UN report concludes that today’s dominant agriculture is very problematic and the efforts to tackle hazardous pesticides will only be successful if they address the ecological, social and economic factors that are embedded in agricultural practices as articulated in the sustainable development goals. This challenging solution may face enormous difficulties in agricultural countries such as Cambodia, where many inhabitants rely on its production. In this regard, the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) of the European Commission is co-funding the Erasmus + project UNICAM. This project is specifically focused on capacity building in higher education, by implementing quality of education and training of the young universities in rural areas of Cambodia. The project is in line with goal number two of the sustainable development agenda: end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. Furthermore, UNICAM is training the trainers and increasing the access of Cambodian citizens living in rural areas to higher education. In this way, the project is also pursuing sustainable development goal number four: ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Last but not the least; UNICAM is a partnership for sustainable development based on solidarity, as the sustainable development goal number 17 states. The strong commitment of all EU participants reflects it. It is important to highlight the focus of the project on the needs, in terms of education and agricultural development, of rural Cambodia as well as a direct involvement of many countries to reach these challenging goals.

 

Fish diversity and sustainability in the flood-pulse system of the Lower Mekong Basin

Author(s): Sovan LEK
Université Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier (France)
e-mail: sovannarath.lek@univ-tlse3.fr

The Mekong Basin has extremely high fish diversity and the region is one of the world’s most diverse and prolific freshwater capture fisheries. In its lower part, Tonle Sap Lake (TSL) is one of the world’s largest lakes and is a biodiversity hotspot in Southeast Asia. Due to the fact that TSL supports a diverse fish fauna, it is considered high fish productivity, which sustains protein supply for Cambodians and other people in the region since several centuries.

The Mekong seasonal flow plays a pivotal role in structuring up- and downstream aquatic communities. According to the spatial and time-series datasets and the univariate as well as the multivariate statistical approaches, we can highlight:

•    The importance of flow and other environmental factors in explaining spatial and temporal dynamics of fish diversity patterns and assemblage structure in the Lower Mekong system.

•    The effects of indiscriminate fishing in one of the world’s largest tropical inland fisheries, the Tonle Sap, with the finding of, despite overall stationary catch per unit effort (CPUE), strong alterations in assemblages’ composition, with decreasing trends in catches of large-sized species, and increasing trends in the catches of some small-sized species.

•    Contrasted responses of fish assemblages to a gradient of disruption of flow seasonality and predictability due to dams in the Lower Mekong system.

The results contribute to the ecological understanding of fish assemblages and to the design of applications for long-term planning, monitoring, management and conservation of fisheries in the Mekong Basin and beyond. We suggest that:

•    Maintaining the Mekong robust and predictably seasonal flood pulse dynamics and habitat connectivity is imperative to ensure fish longitudinal and lateral dispersal ability among critical habitats for breeding, feeding and seeking refuge.

•    Setting appropriate regulations based on known peak fish migrations at various spatiotemporal scales would allow migratory fish species to pass through rivers, access critical habitats and complete their life cycles. Also, enforcing and operationalizing the existing formal fisheries management mechanisms effectively at local, national and regional levels as well as allocating sufficient resources to the fishery sector to combat illegal fishing practices and implementing fisheries conservation measures in critical habitats would help deal with the problem of overharvesting.

•    Hydropower-related pulsed flows that can mimic as far as possible the natural pulsed flows are critical to reduce downstream effects on aquatic organisms, and, thus, should be prioritized and applied as one of the measures to mitigate the impacts from existing and planned hydropower dams in the Mekong Basin.

 

Prevention of deaths from pesticide self-poisoning in rural Asia

Author(s): Michael EDDLESTON
University of Edinburgh (UK)
e-mail: meddlest@exseed.ed.ac.uk

Pesticide poisoning kills over 150,000 people every year, many of them from self-poisoning. Where highly hazardous pesticides (HHP) are still used in agriculture, occupational and accidental poisoning remain a common cause of hospital admission. Prevention of these poisonings and particularly of the deaths and severe poisoning, will be multi-disciplinary and multi-level, working at patient, community and national levels. Case fatality for pesticide poisoning is often high, depending on the pesticide involved, and much higher than intentional poisoning in industrialised regions. Improved medical management will prevent some deaths and is urgently required. Standard treatment must involve administration of atropine at first presentation to hospital for poisoning with organophosphorus and carbamate insecticides. Systems should be in place to manage patients and transfer them to more advanced hospitals as required for ventilation. Altering how pesticides are used in communities may reduce the risk of poisoning, but we have shown that improved household storage is unlikely to be effective. Finding ways of preventing sales to people who may go on to poison themselves with the pesticide may be effective. A large cluster randomised controlled trial will start in Sri Lanka in the next six months. However, activity at the national level, in particular removing HHP from agricultural use - so that pesticide poisoning becomes much safer - is where the big gains are going to be made. Evidence from Sri Lanka, South Korea, and Bangladesh demonstrates that banning such HHP results in a major reduction in both pesticide specific and overall suicide rates and in the number of people presenting with occupational or accidental poisoning to hospital. These interventions have had modest direct costs - in the case of Sri Lanka, each of the 93,000 lives saved over the last 20 years cost US$50. Indirect costs will include reduced agricultural yields or increased input costs - however, thus far, no major effect of these bans on agriculture has been apparent. A worldwide ban on the use of HHP is likely to prevent tens of thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of hospital admissions every year and is urgently required. This approach will be the most effective approach to preventing pesticide deaths and hospital admissions.

 

Sustainable Intensification and the social dynamics of household food security in rural Cambodia

Author(s): David Russell ADER
Univerity of Tennessee (USA)
e-mail: dader@utk.edu

 

There is a pressing global need to increase the diversification of agricultural systems in order to improve human nutrition and agricultural resiliency. Furthermore, these changes need to be achieved in a sustainable manner through increasing the profitability of smallholder production and marketing systems. Agriculture is the traditional mainstay of Cambodia’s economy as the vast majority of its population (~75%) live in rural areas and participate in agriculture. Despite decades of significant economic growth, rural poverty remains a concern, particularly the role of food and nutrition security. The Cambodian National Strategy for Food Security and Nutrition emphasises increased food availability and access through diversification of smallholder farming in order to combat food insecurity through-out rural areas.

In recent years, international investment in the agriculture sector has come through “sustainable intensification”. Sustainable intensification (SI) is an approach and suite of processes to increase food security for a rising global population. Sustainable Intensification consists of agricultural techniques and practices that seek to increase agricultural production without increasing land use (i.e., extensification) or utilization of environmentally harmful inputs. As a strategy to increase production sustainably while allowing smallholder farmers to diversify their production and thus improve family food security and nutrition, SI holds particular promise.

Increasing resilience, stability and equitability are important aspects of SI, yet, the connection between these aspects of SI and socio-cultural determinants of food security remain unclear. To develop policies intended to improve household food security, improved knowledge of the social dynamics of food security is required. This research looks at the links between food security and SI aspects in rural Cambodia by using a new lens to analyse food security and its links to various, diverse aspects of SI. In this presentation we disentangle SI so that SI approaches can be contextualized to address food security. These findings also help us recognize the challenges to food security research in a rural, intercultural setting.

 

Climate change adaptation options for rainfed rice systems in NW Cambodia

Author(s): Bob MARTIN
Sydney Institute of Agriculture (Australia)
e-mail: bob.martin@sydney.edu.au

Climate change mitigation options for lowland rice systems in NW Cambodia include: reduction in the use of fossil fuels by adoption reduced tillage – less use of fossil fuels; reducing livestock emissions, mainly from ruminants (cattle); reduction in rice paddy emissions from excessive irrigation and fertiliser use. The latter might not be an issue in NW Cambodia but might become an issue if rice intensification increases. Climate change adaptation options generally align with the principles of Conservation Agriculture. For lowland rice systems in NW Cambodia adaptation options might include: reduction of tillage; retention of crop residues; reduction of seeding rates; delayed sowing dates; and adjusting fertiliser rates to match optimal crop needs. Although 95% of rice farmers use fertilizer in Battambang, application rates for N are 50% of recommended. Overall, 91% of farmers apply N, 86% apply P and only 30% apply K. Farmers under-apply fertiliser: N (50%); P (37%); K (40%). One-hundred percent of rice is hand broadcast at an average rate of 180 kg ha-1. Climate smart options include wet or dry row-seeding at 80 kg ha-1 (or possibly less) combined with crop residue retention, reduced inversion tillage and the stale-seedbed technique. Rainfall and temperature records for Battambang show the dry season is getting hotter and drier and this might have negative implications for dry season rice irrigation schemes. Supplementary irrigation for two rice crops in the wet season might be a more productive and sustainable alternative to dry season irrigation schemes for rice. Key climate adaptation options identified from recent simulation modelling for rice in Cambodia include: adoption of direct seeding of higher yielding, short duration rice varieties; access to mechanical harvesting; improved nitrogen management; use of supplementary irrigation at sowing; better utilisation of available water; early crop establishment. Yields of short-duration rice varieties are predicted to decrease under climate change and yields of medium-duration photoperiod sensitive varieties could increase or decrease depending on fertilizer rates. In general, the variations in the simulated effects of climate change on yields were more sensitive at high fertilizer rates and less sensitive at low fertilizer rates. It is likely that shifting planting date later will be more beneficial than planting earlier. Since the effects of planting density on changes in rice yields were not investigated, a further study on planting density is recommended. The effect of seeding rate on rice yields under under predicted climate change has yet to be examined and it is proposed that CamSID use Battambang climate data, downscaled GCM data and APSIM to determine the effect of climate change on optimal combinations of seeding rate, seeding date and fertiliser rate for rice.

 

Cambodia: The Center of Conservation Agriculture in Southeast Asia

Author(s): Manuel R. REYES
Kansas State University (USA)
e-mail: reyesreyesmanny@gmail.com

In 2004, a French team partnered with Cambodians and introduced conservation agriculture (CA) in Cambodia. Field experiments on CA or specifically Direct Seeded Mulched Based Cropping Systems, were conducted in Kampong Cham focused on upland crops.  The foundations of CA: Minimum Soil Disturbance, No-tillage; Continues Cover; and Diversified Cropping Systems were successfully introduced and shown to increase crop yield and enhance soil health.  This led to the twelve years longest CA No Till plots in Southeast Asia (SEA).  By 2009, through French partnerships with US researchers, and Cambodian scientists, CA tests on lowland rice production systems began in Battambang and Kampong Thom.   The tests were successful with rice yields increasing in CA and soil heath enhanced.  This led to the nine years longest CA No Till plots on lowland rice, in SEA.  Lastly, in 2013, US, French, Filipino and Cambodian researchers partnered and introduced in Siem Reap CA for vegetable production.  The tests were again successful with vegetable yield increases and soil enhancement in CA compared with tradition tilled systems.  This led to the six years longest CA No Till vegetable production plots in SEA.  Cambodia continued its CA focused and by 2013, the Conservation Agriculture Service Center (CASC), a part of MAFF, was instituted.  In 2016, the Center of Excellence on Sustainable Agricultural Intensification and Nutrition (CE SAIN) was established and headquartered in the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) with five Agricultural Tech Parks in four provinces plus in the RUA campus promoting CA and other SAIN technologies.  Ph.D. dissertations from three Ph.D. students who completed doctoral degrees in the USA published results of Ph.D. dissertations on CA done in Cambodia.  This was and is still being followed by several Cambodians and SEA students conducting M.S. thesis and Ph.D. dissertations in Cambodia with CA as the topic.  A newly funded project, on ‘CA Machinery Service with a Fee’ has begun this July, 2018 that will facilitate the engagement of the private sector to provide machinery service to farmers in Battambang who will switch to CA technology.  In addition, scientists from the Appropriate Scale Mechanization Consortium are identifying CA machines and tools that can be economically adopted by Cambodian farmers.  The FAO-United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) Center for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (CSAM), held its regional meeting April 2018 with the topic of Resilience through Conservation Agriculture in Asia and the Pacific in Cambodia.  After 14 years of focus in CA, Cambodia, therefore, has developed a niche and focus on CA, and with its strategic location, has become the Center of CA in Southeast Asia. 

 

Collective action and PGS: Examples of organizational innovations to boost the availability of safe and healthy vegetable products on local markets in Siem Reap province, Cambodia.

Author(s): Lucie REYNAUD, Chanchhorvy SOM and Martine FRANÇOIS.
Groupe de Recherches et d'Echanges Technologiques (GRET)
e-mail: reynaud@gret.org

 

In Cambodia, although the vast majority of the population depends on agricultural production, the country still imports large quantities of vegetables and fruits from neighboring countries such as Vietnam and Thailand. A recent research conducted by the Center for Policy Studies in 2017 shows that between 200 and 400 tons of vegetables are imported every day to Cambodia. This situation can be explained by the difficulty of farmers in adapting their local production to the rapid growth of the population over the past twenty years, the lack of market information, the seasonality and low diversity of the production. The approach developed by GRET and CIRD relies on supporting small-scale farmers on agroecology transition meanwhile improving market access for local and environmental-friendly products. Based on an initial farms and villages assessment, agroecology transition program has been developed, tested and adapted according to farmers constraints and results. It is a permanent, iterative and long-term process to adjust the intervention program based on farmers situation. In the meantime, GRET and CIRD have been facilitating the emergence of collective action by setting up of 17 producers’ groups and supporting local farmers-collector business. The objective is to expand the availability of fresh, local and safe vegetables on domestic and proximity markets in Siem Reap province to supply the local population. Within this market system, collectors play a key role linking the local production area to urban markets. It relies on two distribution patterns based on short food supply chains such as restaurants and shops, and wider local markets managed by wholesalers through which an average of 100 tons of vegetables are supplied every month to Siem Reap markets. In 2017, 60 farmers have decided to design their own quality vegetable standard and put in place a participatory certification system to respond to consumers expectations in terms of healthy food. As a result, farmers have joined together to create EcoFarm Group organizing themselves around a unified vision of “Be Healthy Together” promoting healthy life through the consumption of safe and good quality food. The objectives are to increase the visibility of local and quality products on the domestic markets, to provide trustful and transparent information to consumers and reward farmers’ efforts towards agroecology transition.

 

Conservation agriculture and graft for vegetable production in the hot-wet conditions in Cambodia.

Author(s): Pao SREAN1, Channaty NGANG1, Kongkea HAV1, David ADER2, Florent TIVET3, and Ricky BATES4
1 University of Battambang (Cambodia) 2 University of Tennessee, USA 3 Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement, CIRAD, F-34398 Montpellier, France 4 Penn State University (USA)
e-mail: paosrean@gmail.com

Vegetables are difficult to grow in the rainy season but bring higher price in the market, and remain important for nutrition at home. Three main things are recommended to grow rainy season veggies: 1) modify environment to improve drainage (soil improvement) and keep rain off of the plants, 2) use plants adapted to wet environments, and 3) graft to take advantage of genetic resistance. This study aims to compare soil quality in conservation agriculture (CA) and conventional tillage (CT) management practices; and to evaluate the disease resistance of the eggplant rootstocks. Soil biodiversity richness and better soil health were found in CA plots, that provide better condition of vegetable production for improved resilience in the face of climate change or uncertain weather. Survival rate and productivity of grafted tomato were greater than non-grafted, indicating that grafted tomato plants could minimize problems caused by flooding and soil-borne diseases for tomato production in the rainy season. In this case two practical activities to buffer against the problem of too much water, or rain at atypical times.

 

Empowering Women in the Commercial Vegetable Home Garden Through Appropriate Farming Tools

Author(s): Sreynget LO1, Pao SREAN1, David Russel ADER2, Manny R. REYES3, Timothy James RENDALL4, Alan Christopher HANSEN4, Sovann LEK5
1 University of Battambang (Cambodia) 2 University of Tennessee (USA) 3 Kansas State University (USA) 4 University of Illinois (USA) 5 Université Toulouse-III-Paul-Sabatier (France)
e-mail: losreynget@gmail.com

Smallholder farmers have been investigated on the Empowering women in the commercial vegetable home garden through appropriate farming tools. This research for development programs began introducing agricultural hand tools based on Conservation Agriculture (CA) and Conventional Tillage (CT) to smallholder farmers located in three communities within Banan, Ek Phnom and Songkae district. This case study focuses on two subjects: (1) Identification of the agricultural tools used for gender in vegetable gardens (2) Economic efficiency of hand Tools used for vegetables. Our mixed-methods approach includes focus group discussions, semi-structured interviews, farmer field visits, and a household survey on women are indeed empowered to participate in promoting the use of agricultural hand tools. The study conducted the survey of 18 farmers implementing the commercial vegetable home garden project and 42 farmers of non-conservation agriculture that working in the agriculture sector at national level. Understanding gendered practices and perspectives are integral to adapting CA and CT technologies to the needs of local communities. Gender differences in access to key productive assets may affect men’s and women’s individual ability to adapt CA and CT. Farmers perceive the practices and technologies of CA and CT as labor-saving, with the potential to reduce men’s and women’s labor burden in land-preparation activities. However, when considered in relation to the full array of productive and reproductive horticulture Tools, CA and CT can disproportionately affect men’s and women’s labor. Decisions about agricultural hand tools were not always made jointly, with socio-cultural norms and responsibilities structuring an individual’s ability to participate in intra-household negotiations. While gender differences in power relations affect intra-household decision-making, men and women household members collectively negotiate the transition to CA and CT based production systems.

 

Evaluation test of Cambodia-designed seed planter prototype for two-wheel tractor

Author(s): Chan Makara Meana*, Dyna Theng1, Savath Seng2, Lyhour Hin1, Timothy Rendall3, Lytour Lor1

a Royal University of Agriculture (Cambodia)

b General Directorate of Agriculture (Cambodia)

c Illinois at Urbana Champaign University (USA)

e-mail: meanmakara321@gmail.com

Rice is consumed throughout the world and is also the staple crop in Cambodia. By 2015, Cambodia exported approximately 550 thousand tons of milled rice, accounting for about half of the government export plan by the same year. However, the production and trade did not meet the plan of the government, which might stem from climate change, technological problems, scarce labor force in agriculture, and narrow markets. These problems have prompted the development of suitable agricultural machinery to help them.The study aims to identify the performance capacity of the seed planter compared with hand broadcasting and to compare the growth and production yield of the two practices.The study was carried out in a farmer’s field, located in Tatork village, Pouk commune, Pouk district, Siem Reap province, using Sen Pidor fragrant rice variety. There are two treatments with 3 replicates of each treatment and used Randomize Complete Block Design (RCBD) method as the experimental design. The dimension of each experimental plot is 5 m × 20 m. The results showed that the cultivating by seed planter had seed rate about 147 kg/ha, while the hand broadcasting up to 180 kg/ha. But at the end of harvesting, the experimental plots using seed planter obtained higher yield, 4.2 t/ha compared to 3.85 t/ha of hand broadcasting. In conclusion, the rice planting by seeder planter has lower seed rate than that of hand broadcasting with producing higher yield.

The authors wish to thank the Appropriate Scale Mechanization Consortium (ASMC) project funded by USAID under Cooperative Agreement No. AID-OAA-L-I-4-00006. This direct seed drill for two-wheel tractor design and prototyping began through funding by ACIAR. Modifications were done by the Department of Agricultural Engineering and the modified prototypes are being evaluated by the ASMC team in Cambodia.

 

Dual Learning in Agricultural Engineering and Food Science and Technology

Author(s): Lor Lytour1, Theng Dyna1, Hin Lyhour1, Nuth Nareth1, Ngov Chansreyroat2, Theng Kouch3, and Laureano Jiménez Esteller4
1Royal University of Agriculture (Cambodia) 2Royal University of Agriculture (Cambodia) 3Royal University of Agriculture (Cambodia) 4University Rovira i Virgili (Spain)
e-mail: lor_lytour@yahoo.com

The first aspect to clarify about dual education is that we can find a plethora of (almost) synonyms that refer to very similar concepts: apprenticeship, alternance training, work-based learning, on-the-job training, etc. In any case, we can define dual learning as a system that combines apprenticeships in a company and class-based learning in the university. This system was firstly found in EU countries, and continuously widespread to other countries such as the US and lately in Asia. Germany is the oldest one who uses this dual education. Then, the learning system help Germany to get out of a global financial crisis, while it was hit Spain very much by that time. Recently, the world especially EU countries have faced the unemployment rate increase again since the number of population and educated people are increasing, but limited job for them.

In fact, there is no single model of alternance programs in the EU, but a continuum of types of programs that integrate work-based learning. When developing/improving alternance schemes, significant time required before the benefits/improvements are obvious or measureable.

Royal University of Agriculture, Cambodia joins a project to design and develop the new education system with other universities in Spain, Germany, Italy, Finland, Russia, India and China and Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC). The project title is “Towards Excellence in Engineering Curricula for Dual Education (TEEDE)”. The project aims to promote the modernization, to expand the availability and to develop the internationalization of higher education in the partner countries; to promote intercultural and interpersonal exchange, the voluntary convergence with the tendencies of the development of higher education in the EU.

The main output of the project will be upgraded/developed curricula in engineering trades. As the results of consultative workshop with local companies in Cambodia, Royal University of Agriculture is recommended to develop the dual education learning system in the major of Agricultural Engineering at undergraduate level and in the major of Food Science and Technology in master level over the existing regular program.

 

The weed composition in rice field of rainfed lowland ecosystem at the early stage of cultivation in Prey Veng Province

Author(s): Sovanda SON1, Chanratana MAK2, Sovan LEK3
1Chea Sim University of Kamchaymear (Cambodia) 2 General Directorate of Agriculture, MAFF (Cambodia) 3 Université Paul Sabatier- Toulouse III (France)
e-mail: sonsovanda@hotmail.com

Weed is a serious constraint for rice production in the ecosystem of rainfed lowland as a major to decrease the yield, yet the insufficient of the effective management knowledge still occurs. A study of weed composition was conducted on the rainy-season rice fields in Prey Veng during the early stage of cultivation in May 2018. It aimed to provide the baseline information of the weed species that are exposing at the vegetative phase of rice and examine cultivation factors influencing the richness and abundance. Nine rice fields cultivating various techniques of land preparation of None (L0), Burning Straw (L1), Double Tillage (L2) and herbicide application of Bisphyrabac-sodium+Phenoxycaboxilic (H1), Bisphyrabac-sodium40%+Solven60% Acid (H2), Metsufuron7%+Pyrazosulfuron-ethyl (H3) and Pyribenzoxim2.5%+Cyhalofop-buthyl6% (H4) were investigated with three replications of 1 m2 quadrat sampling. Result revealed that fifteen vegetation species exposed in the farm at the beginning stage of cultivation. Poaceae is the leading family which presents six species heading to three species of Cyperaceae and followed by Onagraceae, Pontederiaceae, and Fabaceae. Additionally, the most dominant species is Cynodon dactylon and Echinochloa colonum and followed by Fimbristylus milicaea. The abundance was significantly different between each method of land preparation (Kruskal-Wallis test, chi-square=6.24, p=0.04) and herbicide (Kruskal-Wallis test, chi-square=12.72, p=0.01) but, species richness of weed was not different for both factors (p>0.05). The highest weed abundance was found in the rice field with no-herbicide, while H1 performed lowest. Moreover, there was no significant difference in weed composition between the rice applied different herbicide, ANOSIM (RANOSIM=0.10; p=0.14). Furthermore, the weed abundance was affected by land preparation method and herbicide (p<0.05). The results suggested that herbicide H1 had potential effects on species abundance.

 

Making the case for sustainable agriculture: Changing the negative narrative towards agriculture through innovative approach to attract the youth in Lao PDR and Cambodia.

Author(s): Pierre FERRAND (GRET), Lucie REYNAUD (GRET), Germain PRIOUR (Mediaseed)
Groupe de Recherches et d'Echanges Technologiques (GRET)
e-mail: ferrand@gret.org

The national census for Lao PDR shows that approximately one million people between the ages of 15 and 24 live in rural areas. Representing roughly 15 per cent of the total population, rural youth are crucial to the future of agriculture, especially in mountainous areas. Situation is similar in Cambodia.

The rapid transition from subsistence to commercial agriculture has been accompanied by increased connectivity (e.g. roads, phones, social media), which has brought both opportunities and problems for young people (Bartlett, 2017). Compared to their parents, rural youth are better informed, increasingly mobile, and have access to a wider range of products. But, they are also less likely to stay in the village due to both pressure from their parents to find a “better” job than farming and the negative narrative in general about farming activities (seen as backwards and tedious). This important outmigration of the young generation poses a direct threat to the future of farming, especially in mountainous areas.

In this poster, we will focus on the use of the video and social media to work on a narrative change towards agriculture that would contribute to an alternative and more sustainable food system.

We will analyse the results of complementary actions that have been implemented in Laos and Cambodia: On the one hand, a short film contest (focusing on Youth and Agroecology) to address the general public and a smartphone video training for young farmers to document sustainable agriculture practices and record inspiring testimonies. These videos are then widely disseminated through social medias. And on the other hand, the assessment of agroecological, social and economic performances of innovative farms that are led by young farmers.

 

Soil fauna biodiversity of different farming systems in northwest Cambodia

Author(s): Math HIM1, Sorphorn TENG1, Vannak SIENG1, Panha TOUCH1, Pao SREAN1, Sovan LEK1,2, Sithan LEK1,2
1 University of Battambang (Cambodia) 2 Université Paul Sabatier- Toulouse III (France)
e-mail: mathhim12@gmail.com

Soil fauna is important in decomposing the residual of plant and animal to soil organic matter. Research for sustainable agricultural systems in the tropics over the past few decades has suggested a need to maintain the dynamics of soil fauna. In this study, we assess biodiversity (i.e. composition, diversity index, richness, and abundance) of soil fauna collected from different farming areas and soil groups in Northwest Cambodia. We detected a significant difference in species richness, abundance and species composition between soil types (Kruskal-Wallis test and p-value <0.001). The highest species richness and abundance was found in the forest soil, while the lowest species riches was observed in the Rubber farm soil. The forest soil was dominated by orders Entomobryoidea, Desmonomata, Poduromopha, Mesostigmata, Gustavioidea, and Hanseniella. The results suggested that forest soils, which were found to support a high soil fauna diversity, are very good habitats compared to agricultural soils (i.e. rice-plant soil, rubber-plant soil, corn-plant soil), which supported low diversity of the animals. This could be due to the fact that agricultural soils are mainly affected by chemical substances. Our results suggested that chemical fertilizers/pesticides/herbicides, should be used in a limited amount, and instead, the organic matters can be used as the alternative. In this way, soil fauna diversity can be restored in the agricultural farm.

 

Impact on women of community-based conservation agriculture in vegetable production system in Puok District, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Author(s): SEL Rechaney and Josefina T. DIZON
University of the Philippines Los Baños (Philippines)
e-mail: sel.rechaney@gmail.com

The rural livelihoods of Cambodia are diverse and dynamic involving rice and vegetable farming. Women play an important role in the agriculture sector in many developing countries whose priority source of rural income is agriculture. However, women have limited access to critical resource and services due to culture, traditions and other sociological factors.

The study was to analyze the impact on women of community-based conservation agriculture in vegetable production system in terms of enhancing production, increasing household income, and facilitating technology transfer. The study covered three villages namely, Ampel Peam, Prey Thlok, and Bramar in Khnat commune in Puok district, Siem Reap province, Cambodia. The research used a case study design that involved 18 women who have implemented community-based CA. Data gathering method included survey of women farmers, KII of CA leader and staff, and FGD of selected women farmers. The results of the household survey were analyzed using descriptive statistics including frequency, percentages, means, and range.

Result showed that women farmers had a high percentage of vegetable farming activities. Even though there are less than 50 percent of successful women in CA, they enhanced vegetable production resulted to higher mean of yield compared to conventional. It ranged from 150 to 300 m2 of farming size in producing in between 620 to 2,000 kg per year. They also earned more income (more than US$250) with less than 250 square meters while conventional could earn only US$ 123 with 400 square meters. Furthermore, they were able to share information and experience to 121 neighbors including 88 women through traditional communication.

In conclusion, community-based CA is a development strategy to promote small-scale vegetable farming through community development concept to increase production, income, and improve women’s knowledge on technology transfer within the community.

 

Development and implementation of biological control agent to control the crop pest and disease on supporting sustainable agriculture

Author(s): Hendri BUSTAMAN
University of Bengkulu (Indonesia)
e-mail: hendribustamam@unib.ac.id

Biological control is the use of beneficial organisms to decrease the population density of pest organisms. It is a main component of sustainable agriculture which is a system for maintaining the production on the long run without degrading the environmental resources. The crop pest and diseases control method known as biocontrol has been considered among the most promising technologies for sustainable agriculture: it reduces the reliance on synthetic pesticides, minimizes the negative impact on the environment and improves workers safety while at the same time maintaining the economic viability of crop production. Biological control in develepment country depends on many factors, such as an abundance of natural enemies in the country, mass production, and field application of these natural enemies for the pest control. Application Most of biological control agent reacted specific locally, so it needed exploration and selection of them that match to crop pest and disease. Development countries have the potentiality to have and develop a biological control industry to support the agriculture need. In this paper, we discussed the potential of biological control in sustainable agriculture, development, and their implementation of biological control agents in development countries.

 

ALiSEA - A Collective Movement Towards Sustainable Agriculture in Cambodia

Author(s): MEY Veata (ALiSEA Cambodia), and Lucie REYNAUD (GRET)

The Agroecology Learning alliance in South East Asia (ALiSEA) (Cambodia)

Groupe de Recherches et d'Echanges Technologiques (GRET) (Cambodia) 

e-mail: vmey@louvaincooperation.org

The prevalence of agriculture abandonment in Cambodia is high particularly for small-scale farmers as a result of a number of factors. Increasing input costs due to unsustainable farming practices, shortages of labor and physical infrastructure, and the climate change are considered to be major drivers among other drawbacks that bring about farmers to abandon their farming. On the contrary, the remaining commercial medium and large-scale producers are shifting towards intensive agriculture production, making the presence of agroecological practices fade away in this agrochemical-dependent age. In order to contribute to address this challenging issue, ALiSEA Cambodia has carried out a number of approaches as a part of its agroecology promotion initiative to re-signify the importance of agroecology in the development of sustainable agriculture. The methodologies range from networking development agencies with similar interests at national and regional levels to providing small grants to local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), universities and private companies to implement projects capturing different components of agroecology. To date, ALiSEA Cambodia has more than 30 members at national level which include international and local NGOs, universities and research centers, and private companies. All members joined ALiSEA network with a strong belief and commitment to achieve a common goal which is promoting sustainable agriculture through increasing visibility and credibility of agroecological movements. They have been actively involved in joint research, thematic and dissemination workshops, seminars and other social events. Besides the collective work, 4 local NGOs, 1 university and 1 private company have received funding from ALiSEA Cambodia to implement their field-based participatory projects covering permaculture, organic agriculture, soil improvement programs, agroforestry, and participatory guarantee system (PGS) in different parts of Cambodia. Farming practices applied or experimented in each project are tailored, less labor intensive and time consuming, and require low investments to fit with the situations of local farmers. The result of the initiative is tremendous and highly noticeable. There is an evidenced increase in the number of agroecology adaptation, especially by small scale farmers, in the working areas of ALiSEA Cambodia’s members and granted development partners. Agroecology practices have been highly visible to the public and development agencies, and many have taken interest in this sustainable agriculture development topic. The adaptation of agroecology practices by agricultural stakeholders in Cambodia will continue to rise in a certain pace, and ALiSEA Cambodia is determined to contribute more to accelerate the development of agroecology in the future.

 

Assessment of macroinvertebrate biodiversity in Ham Loung River, Ben Tre Province, Vietnam.

Author(s): Sambath PHAN1, Ratha SOR2, Marie Anne Eurie FORIO2, Wout VAN ECHELPOEL2, Long TUAN HO2, Tri TRUONG TRINH TU2, Peter L. M. GOETHALS2
1Svay Rieng University (Cambodia) 2Ghent University (Belgium)
e-mail: sambath.phan@gmail.com

Ham Loung river (HLR) is a part of the Mekong River in the Mekong delta. HLR stretches for 70 kilometres throught Ben Tre Province, Vietnam. In this river, macroinvertebrate community has been known to be impacted by different types of human disturbance (e.g. intensive agriculture and aquaculture) and by sea water intrusion. As macroinvertebrates are one of the main components in freshwater ecosystem, we here descriptively assessed their biodiversity by means of abundance, richness and Shannon indix. Macroinvertebrate samples were collected from 12 sites in HLR, during the dry season (01- 06 April, 2018). As a result, we found 21taxa (3155 individuals), belonging to 13 orders and 6 classes. Based on a rarefaction curve analysis, many addition macroinvertebrate taxa can be found if sampling effort increased. Given the present dataset, macroinvertebrates diversity in general is relatively low along the river; mean abundance of the taxa: 23 ± 30.5 individuals, mean richness: 2.8 ±2.1 taxa and mean Shannon index: 0.7 ± 0.6.The most common families included, Arcidae (occurred at 41% of all sites), Thiaridae (33%), Corbiculidae (25%). Based further investigation on the 6 macroinvertebrate classes, it is shown that the abundance distribution of each macroinvertebrate class varied considerably along the river. For instance, Insecta was only observed at a few upstream sites, while Clitellata was only detected at a site that located in the center of Ben Tre province. This may indicates that each site location can support different macroinvertebrate classes.

 

Assessment of Water Quality in Ben Tre River, Vietnam

Author(s): Savoeurn SOUM1, Ratha SOR2, Marie Anne Eurie FORIO2, Wout VAN ECHLPOEL2 Long TUAN HO2, Tri TRUONG TRINH TU2, Peter L. M. GOETHALS2
1 Chea Sim University of Kamchaymear (Cambodia) 2 Ghent University (Belgium)
e-mail: sormsavoeurn168@gmail.com

Ben Tre River (BTR) is a part of the Mekong Delta, which is considered vulnerable due to various human activities (e.g. usage of pesticide and chemicals fertilizers, landfill and home waste). Therefore, it is important to assess the water quality in this river. By using physical-chemical water quality variables collected from 51 sampling sites located from upstream to downstream of BTR, water quality for an overall status and for the protection of aquatic life were assessed based on the basic Prati index and the Mekong River Commission (MRC) model, respectively. The results showed that, based on the basic Prati index, most of the sites situated in the upstream and urban area are polluted (61%) and heavily polluted (18%); while most sites in the coastal area have an acceptable (12%) and good (8%) water quality. Based on the MRC model, most of upstream sites were categorized as poor (51%) and moderate (28%) quality for supporting aquatic lives. The remaining sites in downstream and coastal area were classified as good (23.5%) and very good (5.8%) quality for living organisms. Overall, there is a pattern that the water quality in upstream area is rather poor or polluted, which could be due to dense population in the urban area, extensive agriculture and aquaculture; while the water quality in coastal area where lower level of human disturbance is observed appeared to be in a moderate and good condition.

 

Macroinvertebrate Diversity Assessment in Co-Chien River (Ben Tre Province, Vietnam)

Author(s): Kan CHOEURN1, Ratha SOR2, Marie Anne Eurie FORIO2, Long Tuan HO2, Wout Van ECHELPOEL2, Tri Trương TRỊNH TỪ2, Peter L. M. GOETHALS2
1 Chea Sim University of Kamchaymear (Cambodia)  2Ghent University (Belgium)
e-mail: choeurnkancsuk@gmail.com

Co-Chien River (CCR), a last branch of the Mekong River, is situated in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. CCR has been reported to be one of the most impacted areas, due to agricultural activities, sea water intrusion, and other anthropic disturbance (e.g. fishing, and aquaculture). However, macroinvertebrate diversity and its relation to agricultural activities and other environmental factors in CCR remain largely unknown. Hence, this study aimed to provide a descriptive assessment of macroinvertebrate diversity, using data from 12 sampling sites collected in CCR, from 01 to 10 April, 2018. As results, 22 taxa belonging to 13 orders and 05 classes were found. The common taxa included Capitellidae, Corbiculidae, Nephtyidae, Nereidae and Ocypodidae. The overall diversity of macroinvertebrate taxa in CCR is very low and highly varied (mean richness: 4 ± 2.5 taxa, mean abundance: 45 ± 20.3 individuals, Shannon index: 1.02 ± 0.56). A lower diversity was mostly detected at sites situated from the upstream to the middle downstream, which could be due to a high level pollution. On the other hand, a higher diversity was observed at three sites located along the coastal area. This may indicate that many taxa living in this area can tolerate brackish water, or that this area is suitable for many taxa to depend on.

 

Assessment of indicator macroinvertebrates taxa in Ba Lai River, Ben Tre Province, Vietnam

Author(s): Sros MORN1, Ratha SOR2 Marie Anne Eurie FORIO2, Long Tuan HO2, Wout Van ECHELPOEL2, Trinh Tu Tri TRUONG2, and Peter M GOETHALS2
1 Svay Rieng University (Cambodia) 2 Ghent University (Belgium)
e-mail: mornsros096@gmail.com

Ba Lai River is one of the last branch of Mekong in Ben Tre Province, Vietnam .The river has a length of 55 km, width from 200-300 m, depth from 3-5 with one big dam operation. As such, an analysis of key macroinvertebrates (e.g. indicator taxa) and its related to environmental variables in the upstream and downstream of the dam is useful for ecological applications. The aim of this study was to provide a descriptive assessment of indicator macroinvertebrates taxa (e.g. taxa that commonly and abundantly occurred) that can be potentially found in the river. Macroinvertebrates samples were collected from 13 sampling sites between 01- 06 April, 2018. Base on the analysis 26 taxa were found in Ba Lai River. 5 of which commonly observed in the river and considered as indicator taxa. These taxa included Corbiliculidae (occurred at 38% of all sites) Chironomidae (31%), Capitellidae (31%), Nepitellidae (31%) and Nereidae (31%). Further investigation on the abundance of each indicator taxa revealed that Corbiliculidae dominated the downstream part (upper and lower parts of the dam), whereas Chironomidae mainly represented the upstream part where they can tolerate a high level of disturbance (e.g. high density of population, intensive agriculture and aquaculture) observed.

 

Binderless fiberboard made from rice straw thermo-mechanical extrudates by thermopressing: influence of fiber morphology, water and lignin content

Author(s): DYNA Thenga,c, Gerard ARBATb, Marc DELGADO-AGUILARA, Bunthan NGOC, Laurent LABONNED, Pere MUTJÉA, Philippe EVOND*
a,b University of Girona (Spain) c Royal University of Agriculture (Cambodia) d Université de Toulouse (France)
e-mail: dyna@hotmail.co.il

Fiberboard is a fibrous panels made up of lignocellulosic materials joined together with a synthetic binder. Lignocellulosic biomass has been acknowledged for potential use in natural composites production. Such application of the biomass usually requires a pretreatment, e.g. mechanical, thermal or chemical pretreatment or their combinations. Extrusion is a promising thermo-mechanical pretreatment method for biomass conversion because of its low cost, good monitoring of temperature and screw speed, high shear, and excellent processing ability. The present study has a purpose to investigate the influence of fiber morphology and molding parameters on mechanical and physical properties of fiberboards made from rice straw biomass. The rice straw was thermo-mechanically treated using a twin-screw extruder. Water added at molding (0-20%), lignin content (0-25%), and liquid/solid ratio used for extrudate production (0.33-1.07) were the three parameters investigated. A Doehlert’s experimental design was used to evaluate their influence on boards’ properties. The results revealed that 0.4 liquid/solid ratio at extrudate production, 5% water added at molding, and 8.9% lignin content were the best tested conditions for bending properties. Density of fiberboard produced from these conditions was 1414 kg/m3 (i.e. the densest board). Maximum flexural strength and elastic modulus were 50.3 MPa and 8.6 GPa, respectively. Thickness swelling and water absorption were 23.6% and 17.6%, respectively. Using the statistical analysis of the experimental design, a good compromise between density and flexural properties should be obtained from 0% water added, 25% lignin content, and 0.33 liquid/solid ratio at extrudate production. From the polynomial models, the corresponding boards’ properties should be approximately 50 MPa maximum flexural strength, 6.0 GPa elastic modulus, 1102 kg/m3 density, and 24% thickness swelling.

The authors wish to thank the Erasmus+ KA107 project for financial support. Special sincere gratitude is given to Laboratoire de Chimie Agro-Industrielle (LCA), INP-ENSIACET, Toulouse, France for both raw materials and experimental support, and to CIMV company for having supplied BioligninTM.

 

Using Sensors to Control and Monitor Greenhouse Temperature and Humidity for Crop Production

Author(s): Chantha MOK, Chhengven CHHOEM, Simean SOK, Sokheng PHOUN, Chhiengputheavy CHHUT, Jo Kue WON, Dyna THENG, Lytour LOR
Royal University of Agriculture (Cambodia)
e-mail: chantha.mail7@gmail.com

Agriculture employs almost 70% of Cambodian labour forces. It is considered to strongly support Cambodian people in ensuring food security as a main source of income with 29% contribution to the GDP. However, this agricultural work has drop dramatically to 64% recently and would expected to continuously decrease down to 30% by 2030. The problem of the decreasing is due to the low productivity farmers. Behind this problem, the external weather hashing condition and pest breakout are the main factors to drive the production low. It is virtually figured out that the temperature in Cambodia has risen to the maximum 50 degree C during the midday in dry season outdoor and higher in greenhouse. Technically, whenever the temperature heat up higher than 46 degree C, the stomata of the crops will be closed to reduce evaporation. Transpiration of the crops will also be reduced. Long heating duration will make crop burn, wilt and die. The result will be disappointed to farmers to restart their production. With this consideration, it is said that the good temperature for each crops should be in the range of room temperature from 25 - 30 degree C in the air with relatively humidity ranges 40 - 60%. These conditions will be very good for crop development and fast growth. Temperature during the daytime and the night time should not be varied higher than 10 degree C. Whereas, in the soil, the temperature is required in the ranges of 20 - 25 degree C with the relatively humidity 40% - 90% according to development stages. There are several methods to control temperature and humidity in the greenhouse. For instance, greenhouse has been designed to circulate of cool and hot air by opening the top, hot air will go out replaced by cool air. Another method is to use turbo fan to exhaust hot air from the greenhouse and return back cool air from the any hole. These methods cannot be easily controlled/triggered the temperature and humidity inside the room. They need to be modified to handily control the processes using mobile phone SMS. Sensor development, so called “Power of Sensor”, is a really powerful. It can control the greenhouse temperature and humidity easily through SMS sending through a smart phone. There are two options for triggering sensors. 1) The installed tools in the greenhouse can be control automatically (operator can send SMS to trigger sensor to run automatically, meaning that operator does not need to monitor the working processes). 2) The installed tools will be manually controlled (operator is required to monitor and control the whole system manually). The study aims to control and monitor Temperature and Humidity in Air and in Soil in the Greenhouse to facilitate vegetable adaptation. An experimentation will be conducted at Faculty of Agricultural Engineering, Royal University of Agriculture to grow a type of vegetable inside the greenhouse starting from late June 2018.

 

Time-motion study and task analysis of conservation agriculture vegetable production in Battambang, Cambodia

Author(s): Sothea RIEN1, Pao SREAN1, Sovann LEK2
1 University of Battambang (Cambodia) 2 Université Paul Sabatier- Toulouse III (France )
e-mail: sothea.rien@yahoo.com

Agriculture employs almost 70% of Cambodian labour forces. It is considered to strongly support Cambodian people in ensuring food security as a main source of income with 29% contribution to the GDP. However, this agricultural work has drop dramatically to 64% recently and would expected to continuously decrease down to 30% by 2030. The problem of the decreasing is due to the low productivity farmers. Behind this problem, the external weather hashing condition and pest breakout are the main factors to drive the production low. It is virtually figured out that the temperature in Cambodia has risen to the maximum 50 degree C during the midday in dry season outdoor and higher in greenhouse. Technically, whenever the temperature heat up higher than 46 degree C, the stomata of the crops will be closed to reduce evaporation. Transpiration of the crops will also be reduced. Long heating duration will make crop burn, wilt and die. The result will be disappointed to farmers to restart their production. With this consideration, it is said that the good temperature for each crops should be in the range of room temperature from 25 - 30 degree C in the air with relatively humidity ranges 40 - 60%. These conditions will be very good for crop development and fast growth. Temperature during the daytime and the night time should not be varied higher than 10 degree C. Whereas, in the soil, the temperature is required in the ranges of 20 - 25 degree C with the relatively humidity 40% - 90% according to development stages. There are several methods to control temperature and humidity in the greenhouse. For instance, greenhouse has been designed to circulate of cool and hot air by opening the top, hot air will go out replaced by cool air. Another method is to use turbo fan to exhaust hot air from the greenhouse and return back cool air from the any hole. These methods cannot be easily controlled/triggered the temperature and humidity inside the room. They need to be modified to handily control the processes using mobile phone SMS. Sensor development, so called “Power of Sensor”, is a really powerful. It can control the greenhouse temperature and humidity easily through SMS sending through a smart phone. There are two options for triggering sensors. 1) The installed tools in the greenhouse can be control automatically (operator can send SMS to trigger sensor to run automatically, meaning that operator does not need to monitor the working processes). 2) The installed tools will be manually controlled (operator is required to monitor and control the whole system manually). The study aims to control and monitor Temperature and Humidity in Air and in Soil in the Greenhouse to facilitate vegetable adaptation. An experimentation will be conducted at Faculty of Agricultural Engineering, Royal University of Agriculture to grow a type of vegetable inside the greenhouse starting from late June 2018.

 

Plant resistance and productivity of grafted tomato for production in the rainy season

Kongkea HAV1, Channaty NGANG1, Pao SREAN1*, David ADER2 and Ricky BATES3
1 University of Battambang (Cambodia) 2 University of Tennessee (USA) 3Penn State University (USA)
e-mail: kongkea2345@gmail.com

Vegetables are difficult to grow in the rainy season but bring higher price in the market, and remain important for nutrition at home. Vegetable grafting is one of the options to take advantage of genetic resistance for production in rainy season. This study aims to evaluate the disease resistance of three varieties of eggplant rootstock for tomato production in wet condition. Yellow pea tomato (Yolanum lycopersicum) was used for grafted tomato plants in this study. Tomato plants grafted onto the different varieties of eggplant rootstock and non-grafted tomato plants were planted in the field, with randomized complete block design. Plant resistance and productivity were measured in each experimental plot. Plant resistance and productivity of the grafted tomato plants were greater than non-grafted tomato plants, and varied for different eggplant rootstocks.

 

Bringing agroecology to the market: innovative market approaches and institutional settings to accompany agroecological transitions in the Lao Uplands

Kongkea HAV1, Channaty NGANG1, Pao SREAN1*, David ADER2 and Ricky BATES3
1 University of Battambang (Cambodia) 2 University of Tennessee (USA) 3Penn State University (USA)
e-mail: kongkea2345@gmail.com

Economic benefits and market access are key drivers for farmers’ adoption of innovative practices such as agroecology (Castella & Kibler, 2015). The later offers promising options to promote sustainable livelihoods, and to address the challenges faced by upland communities (e.g., increased vulnerability related to the impacts of climate change, remoteness, difficulties in accessing markets, migration). The adoption of agroecological innovations involves a complex mix of learning, new ways of thinking and a considerable amount of risk taking. It is thus important to identify ways to provide visibility and to reward the efforts made by farmers and other stakeholders in building agroecological alternatives to conventional food and agriculture systems. Alternative food networks and new relations between committed consumers and farmers illustrate this new way of doing things that extends throughout the value chain (Loconto et al., 2016).

Building on ongoing work in Laos and the Mekong Region aimed at promoting food produced through agroecological practices, this poster will focus on innovations and especially on the role played by markets (and new types of exchange) as incentives for the adoption of agroecological/sustainable agricultural practices. It will also explore the variety new links established between farming communities and consumers -e.g., Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS), organic and fair-trade certifications, producer cooperatives, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), collective purchases, geographical indications.

After presenting some case studies of institutional innovations that are currently taking place in the Lao PDR to accompany the agroecological transition, we will identify factors of success and draw recommendations for going to scale. Lastly, we will highlight how these innovations can challenge existing market relations.

 

Agricultural inputs use and productivity of rice cultivation in Cambodia

Hak Keo1, Longdy KORN2, Pao SREAN 2, Sovan LEK 3
1 Svay Rieng University (Cambodia) 2 University of Battambang (Cambodia) 3 Université Paul Sabatier- Toulouse III (France)
e-mail: keohaksvr168@gmail.com

Rice is the main crop grown in Cambodia and also in many parts of the world. In Cambodia, people use rice as a main dish for their daily food and for income generation. Therefore, farmers employ different farming strategies (e.g. disease treatments) and inputs (e.g. fertilizers) to optimize rice productivity. In this study, we used a dataset from a survey of 105 farmers living in two provinces (Battambang and Svay Rieng) to compare the farming inputs used and rice productivity. Furthermore, we determined factors affecting the rice productivity using PERMANOVA, and predicted the productivity based on farming inputs using Conditional Inference Tree model. The results shows that there was a significant difference in component of framing inputs between two provinces (ANOSIM, R=0.583, p=0.001), and the rice productivity in Battambang was higher than in Svay Rieng (Man-Witney test, P=0.148). Interestingly, rice yields were positively affected by chemical costs and negatively affected by pesticide cots and frequency of fertiliser use. Furthermore higher rice yields 5t/ha correlated to pesticide costs per time more than 3$ and frequency≥3.5 time. The results suggested that chemical costs, pesticide cost and frequency fertiliser use were the main factor affected to rice productivity. We recommended farmer should learn clearly about technical for using chemical to get safety.

 

Improving soil health on commercial vegetable home gardens in Cambodia through conservation agriculture

Channaty NGANG1, Pao SREAN1, David ADER2, Florent TIVET3, Manny REYES4 and Ricky BATES5
1 University of Battambang (Cambodia) 2 University of Tennessee (USA) 3 Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD) (France) 4 Kansas State University (USA) 5 Penn State University (USA)
e-mail: channatyngang@gmail.com

Conservation agriculture has been shown to improve soil health, and I am studying how conservation agriculture specifically improves the soil health of commercial vegetable home gardens in Battambang province in Cambodia. In agriculture production there can be many different approaches to achieving the expected yield every year; however, in our research we are specifically looking at conventional tillage and conservation agriculture systems. We are studying the soil health of conservation agriculture (CA) and conventional tillage (CT) management practices, by comparing the biomass-C inputs (quality, quantity). We are also assessing the changes of soil quality in the different agricultural management practices by using the Biofunctool package, i.e. a set of in-field, cost and time-effective measurements to assess the soil functions. We will focus on a set of indicators to assess three key soil functions: carbon transformation, nutrient cycling and soil structure evolution in the different agricultural management practices between CA and CT.

 

Meeting seed certification standards for weed and weedy rice seed contamination in rice in Cambodia

RIEN, R. 1, SREAN, P.1 and MARTIN RJ.2
1 University of Battambang (Cambodia) 2 The University of Sydney (Australia)
e-mail: ratharien007@gmail.com

A survey was carried out in North-West Cambodia to document contamination of rice paddy by seeds of weeds and weedy rice and to understand farmers’ knowledge and practices for management of weedy rice and recommend practices to reduce weed seed contamination in rice paddy. The level of weed seed contamination was determined by sampling from freshly harvested paddy, farmer-kept seed and seed producer seed. Eighty-nine percent of seed sown was kept by the farmer or bought from a neighbour and only 9% of seed was bought from a seed producer. Ninety-five percent of paddy samples were contaminated with red seeds and the average number of red seeds found in fresh paddy was 385 per 500 g. Seed kept for sowing contained 351 red seeds per 500 g showing that farmers were only reducing red seed contamination by 9%. The average number of red seeds in seed producer seed was 30 seeds per 500 g which is five times over the certification standard of 5 red seeds per 500 g. The maximum number of Echinochloa seed for certification is 10 seeds per 500 g. Farmers were able to reduce Echinochloa seeds by 52% to 20 seeds per 500 g. Seed companies were effective in reducing Echinochloa seeds to 1 per 500 g. It is recommended that farmers receive better training to improve quality of farm-kept seed. Seed certification standards should be implemented to improve the quality of seed in the marketplace, especially with regard to contamination by weedy rice.

 

Health hazards due to environmental contaminations in the developing countries are of great

Kongkea PHAN1, 2, 3 *, Kyoung-Woong KIM4

1International University (Cambodia)

2Cambodian Chemical Society (Cambodia)

3International Environmental Research Institute, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Republic of Korea

4School of Earth Science and Environmental Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Republic of Korea

e-mail: kongkeaphan@gmail.com

Health hazards due to environmental contaminations in the developing countries are of great interest. In this review, we present the environmental contaminations caused by human activities and natural processes in Cambodia environments. Both inorganic and organic chemical contaminants in aquatic environments and agricultural produces are highlighted. Case studies of As, Hg and pesticide residuals in Cambodia are discussed. The current health effects resulting from environmental contamination in Cambodia widely range from dermatological diseases to various cancer and death. The present study suggests that the environmental contamination is a pressing public health issue in Cambodia. Urgent preventive actions should be undertaken to protect and prevent the public health of Cambodian people.

 

Seeding rate demonstration

YORN Try, DAO Xuan Cuong, NHEB Khim and NGANG Seyma

Mean Chey University (Cambodia)

e-mail: yorntry@yahoo.com

Rice production in Cambodia still plays important role in national economic development and providing labor force to people in the rural area. However, the rice yield is still very low when compare to neighbor countries like Vietnam and Thailand; high seed rate application is significant impacts to cause low yield and high expense. To solve this problem, un-replicated experiment with four different seed rates including 18kg/ha, 50kg/ha, 53kg/ha, and 178kg/ha. The results of the experiment showed that the lowest seed rate (18kg/ha) could significantly reduce logging 90% and blast infection. With agronomic aspects, the lowest seed rate application appeared to be highest number panicle/m2, number of grain/panicle, 1000 grain weight, and yield. Economically, lowest seed rate application (18kg/ha) showed the highest economic return (5.6 time) compared to highest seed rate application (2.3 time).

 

Current and future perspective of agriculture in Cambodia

SENG Vang1,2 and OUK Makara 1,2

1 Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development (CARDI) (Cambodia)

2 Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) (Cambodia)

e-mail: sengvangkh@gmail.com

Agriculture remains an important part of the Cambodian economy with about 80% of the population relies on it for their livelihood. Recently, Cambodia’s agriculture accounts for about 25% of the country’s GDP declining from 32% in 2013. Agricultural sector comprises of 4 subsectors: crop production, livestock and poultry, fisheries, and forestry and logging. Crop production is the main agricultural subsector accounting for 13% of agriculture’s GDP. More than 80% of crop production remains under rainfed conditions. Agriculture employed 41.5% of the total work force in 2015 compared with 54.2% in 2010. In 2013, Cambodia possessed about 1.88 million household agricultural holdings with average land holdings of 1.64 ha. Rice is the main crop grown in the monsoon season. The total rice area accounted for about 3.21 million ha, with national average yield of 3.29 t/ha and total production of 10.52 million tons. Monsoon rice produced about 77% of the total country’s paddy production. Cambodia exports about 0.636 million tons of milled rice in which premium quality aromatic rice comprised of about 62%. The Cambodia’s aromatic rice, cv. Phka Rumduol won the World’s Best Rice Award in 2012, 2013, and 2014. Cambodia has released 45 rice cultivars, many of them are resistant to biotic stresses, and tolerant to abiotic stresses. Beside rice, 13 varieties of another 5 crops have been released for farmers. Improved technology package helped farmers increase rice yield by 1.4 t/ha compared with current farmer practice, generated an extra benefit of about 300 USD/ha. Climate change which causes frequent flood and/or drought events are the major hindrance to achieving sustainable and profitable crop production. At the same time, overcoming soil physical and chemical constraints on crop diversification and intensification together with achieving good productivity and sustainable management of agroecosystems remains a key challenge facing Cambodia’s agriculture. Cambodia’s agricultural sector is growing towards Modern Agriculture, which is competitive, inclusive, resilient and sustainable to contribute to food security, safety and nutrition for the prosperity and wellbeing of the Cambodian people. Cambodia has to meet the demand for improved scientific capability for R&D including human resources, infrastructure and facilities, and financial support. Future priority areas for agricultural research and development should be central in sustainable intensification and income diversification for rice and non-rice crops in rice-based farming systems, and sustainable land and water management in upland farming systems. It is also important to integrate smallholder livestock production and freshwater aquaculture production systems in lowland and upland farming systems for improving rural household income and nutrition.

 

Agriculture, Environment and Education in Cambodia

Bunlay Nith

Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) (Cambodia)

e-mail: bunlaynith@gmail.com

The presentation will first introduce national vision 2030, the importance of capacity building and human resource development, and the roadmap for Cambodian higher education development. It will then go on to present general situation of higher education by focusing on current situation, general issues and challenges, intervention strategies, and opportunity for improvement of agriculture and environment majors. 

 

Challenges for the water, energy and food nexus in Asia

Peter GOETHALS

Ghent University, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Department of Animal Sciences and Aquatic Ecology (Belgium)

e-mail: peter.goethals@ugent.be 

Although the production, distribution and consumption cycles of water, energy and food (WEF) are strongly related, their control and optimization are often merely executed from a narrow perspective. In many cases, even partial aspects of the individual cycles are considered. This does lead to suboptimal solutions to manage these core aspects of societies, and in some cases even to disastrous situations. In particular, by changing specific aspects of these systems in order to solve local or subsystem problems, new problems and risks can arise. Therefore, it is crucial that in the future, integrated concepts and models are used to monitor and analyze water, energy and food systems, and aim to control and optimize these critical and intertwined cycles from diverse perspectives. A WEF nexus (or even more integrated) approach is in particular essential in very dynamic regions such as Asia, where the societal development is ongoing at very high speed, and risks to lead to social, economic and environmental problems. Consequently, there are great challenges for Asian policy-makers and WEF managers, to deal with these issues at different spatial and temporal scales, and in particular to make informed decisions and translate these to governance instruments aiming at a sustainable development. This presentation will provide examples of typical WEF problems originating from too narrow optimization processes via the DPSIR cycle applied to hydropower development and agricultural intensification, as well as needs and solutions for integrated data collection and assessment. A critical role is foreseen for integrated social, economic and environmental models, as well as the implementation in WEF governance.