By Thol Buntha – DPA
Seven journalists from different local media agencies, including radio, television, newspapers and online news media, participated in a field visit to the flagship site of Agroecology and Safe Food System Transitions (ASSET) project in Rovieng district, Preah Vihear province on 18 November 2023. The field visit was organized by the Agroecology Learning Alliance in Southeast Asia (ALiSEA) team in Cambodia with aims to share knowledge and practical experiences of agroecology at the field, to connect journalists with farmers, agriculturists and local authorities, and to encourage them to report about agroecology concepts and awareness to a broader audience.
The participants were firstly introduced to agroecology and ASSET project by Dr. Kong Rada, ASSET Project’s National Coordinator. Then, they were presented the demonstration of soil erosion (with different types of soil) by the ASSET’s project team – marking the positive impact of agroecology’s impact on soil health. The activity was followed by the visits to field research sites of the organic rice paddy, cassava cultivation and cashew nut protection by using agroecological methods, through which journalists had opportunity to listen to farmers’ presentations and ask them questions.
The field visit was a significant activity to raise awareness about the benefits of agroecology and encourage journalists to report on this important topic. Journalists who joined the visit showed their interest to report stories about agroecology. “Agriculture is a popular topic for Cambodian people and agroecology is even more interesting,” said Mr. Khoeun Sakheang, a journalist from PNN TV. “I used to be a farmer and I did not know how to improve the soil. But when I came to see the agroecological technique in planting cover crops to enrich the soil, I think that it is the best approach to increase the soil quality.”
Journalists also expressed idea about their role in spreading the information. “We have a key mission to disseminate information about impacted agroecological practices of farmers in the area to farmers in other areas as well as the public,” said Ms. Kong Monira, a reporter from Radio National of Kampuchea. “The report of journalists could contribute to the success of the agroecological practices. Because if we do not circulate the information, other people will not know about its advantages.”
Mr. Pat Sovann, ALiSEA National Coordinator, emphasized the importance of sharing agroecology stories and knowledge. He highlighted its varied benefits. “Agroecological practices could make food and food production systems more sustainable, our food products more safe, environment more friendly, and make both producers and consumers healthier.”
More and more farmers are shifting their agricultural practices into agroecology around the world. This transition requires tremendous support from farmers, agricultural cooperatives, civil society organizations, private sector, researchers, and policymakers. Therefore, the field visit of journalists to cover the impacts of agroecology can be a very important catalyst to promote and push agroecology adoption across the country and region.
You can view the media coverage during the journalist visit via these links: