Title of document: Towards an agroecological transition in Southeast Asia: Cultivating diversity and developing synergies

Authors: Jean-Christophe CASTELLA; Jean-François KIBLER

Organisation: GRET; AFD


Starting from the early 1990s, a multitude of national and regional initiatives have emerged in the Great Mekong Sub-Region for supporting ecological intensification of agriculture or agroecology.

The French Agency for Development (AFD) has been a very active supporter of these initiatives, especially in relation to the promotion of Conservation Agriculture and the establishment of the Conservation Agriculture Network for South East Asia (CANSEA). In addition to its initial focus on Conservation Agriculture and with the objective of widening the scope of agroecology by including all other “schools” such as Organic Agriculture, Agroforestry, Integrated Pest Management, System of Rice Intensification…, the AFD commissioned a study to better understand regional and national agroecology dynamics and initiatives, their strengths and weaknesses as well as the main issues at stake for their large scale dissemination.

The authors conducted this study in 2013 in the six countries of the GMS, through a review of the literature combined with country based consultation workshops in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam and expert surveys in Thailand and Yunnan-China.

This publication aims at sharing some of the study’s key findings, and at providing a broad, yet non-exhaustive, overview of the current situation of agroecology in the Great Mekong Region.


Jean-Christophe CASTELLA is a geo-agronomist from IRD, seconded to CIRAD and based in Lao PDR. Over the past two decades, he has worked in the Mekong region on agrarian changes and their impacts on landscapes and livelihoods. Contact: j.castella@cirad.fr

Jean-François KIBLER is an agro-economist from GRET with 20 years’ experience in rural development. He has coordinated a number of development projects in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar. Contact: kibler@gret.org