The 1st national multi-stakeholder workshop addressing Agroecological Transition in the Mekong Region, and more especially in Cambodia, was held on the 30th and 31st of March 2016 in Phnom Penh. It was organized by CIRAD and GRET as part of the inception phase of ACTAE project, funded by the French Agency for Development (AFD).
It brought together about 60 specialists and practitioners from national and international NGOs, research and universities, farmers’ federations, government agencies, development partners and private sector actively working on sustainable agriculture sector in Cambodia.
It aimed at sharing knowledge, information and experiences between agricultural development stakeholders, more especially through:
- Introduction to ACTAE program with its 2 components:
- Conservation Agriculture Network in South East Asia (CANSEA)
- Agroecology Learning Alliance in South East Asia (ALiSEA)
- Discussions of initial findings from the 1st study carried out in the framework of ALiSEA about Agroecology Stakeholder Mapping and Situation Review in Cambodia (report available in ALiSEA online library and Powerpoint available here)
- Demonstration of the online ALiSEA knowledge management and experience sharing platform on Agroecology
- Presentation of 12 case studies and one video from various stakeholders in line with 3 main topics
- Improving production through agroecological practices
- Trade-off between agriculture production and ecosystems services
- Making markets work for agroecological products: Value Chain development, farmers empowerment and certification
- Working groups building upon lessons learnt from the case studies and ACTAE presentations resulting in
- A brainstorming about main agriculture challenges faced by farmers and formulation of recommendations for promoting agroecology
- A shared understanding and common vision of agroecology and a sound and accurate translations (in national language) of the concept of agroecology
- A preliminary brainstorming about governance and structure for a future national platform addressing agroecology transition
The 2 days’ workshop has been very intense and very fruitful paving the way to some common principles, common understanding and common expectations about agroecology. There are still some works to do in order to define in an encompassing way agroecology but it is on the right track.
As a way forward, a first working group for drafting the structure of the future Cambodia Agroecology Learning Alliance and reviewing results from ALiSEA workshops in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam has been formed with 9 volunteer organizations.
From Left to Right on the picture hereafter: Mike Tharamangalar (Green Business JV), Neou Sethea (Padek), Khun Leang Hak (SOFDEC), Im Sothy (ADG), Cheav Sunnary & Prak Sereyvath (CIRD), Christophe Goossens (ADG), Chhey Horn & Lim Ratha (MFR), Neang Malyne (ECOLAND)
Not on the picture but also included in the working group: Chhim Phallyboth (COD), Seng Kim Hian (IDE)
This 1st national workshop was instrumental in laying down the foundations of a national Cambodia network that will partake in a regional Agroecology Learning Alliance, bringing together all stakeholders active in the field of agroecology.
It was the first of its kind and it is expected that others will follow to keep on networking, sharing experiences and best practices and ultimately promote agroecology transition in the Mekong region.
Case studies available for download::
Improving production through agroecological practices
IPM National Program, Chou Cheythyrith IPM-Final, Agroecological Concept and Good Practices in FFS Programme
How to improve yield crop in organic farming? Case study of vegetable and rice crop on poor acid sandy soil of Angkor World Heritage, APSARA APSARA-How to improve yield crop
Improving soil fertility, rice productivity and fodder resources in the lowlands rice of Cambodia, CASC CA rice_Cambodia_Kong Rada
Accompany transition toward agro-ecology production practices, ADG ADG AE presentation WS March 2016
Advocacy for a living soil! CIRAD Living soil_CIRAD
Trade-off between agriculture production and ecosystems services
Trade-offs between ecosystem services and opportunity costs in the Tonle Sap Lake agro-ecosystem, Ecoland Trade-offs between ecosystem services and opportunity costs_Ecoland
Key dynamic of Ibis Rice is to pay a premium to farmers to not expand production into protected forest, not hunt wildlife and not use chemicals, WCS Ibis RIce GRET Mar16
Making markets work for agroecological products: Value Chain development, farmers empowerment and certification
Development of an economically viable organic rice supply chain via a Contract Farming scheme, SCCRP SCCRP – Dvt Economically Viable organic Rice supply chain in PVH
Strengthening farmers’ organizations to meet certification and quality requirements, COD COD-Sustainable Development through Organic Value Chains
Role in market in agroecology – a case study on vegetable supply: Promote safe food supply and empower farmer market, Natural Agri-village Shop NAV-Role of market in agroecology
Khmer community Market Shop, Mali from Community Organizing group Khmer Community
Another approach of Agriculture: Farmer’s voices from Cambodia, documentary directed by Germain Priour in the framework of APICI project implemented by GRET and CIRD in Siem Reap, Cambodia