Cambodia is one of the ten nations of Southeast Asia and part of mainland Southeast Asia. It is bordered on the north by Laos and Thailand, on the west by Thailand, and on the east by Vietnam. It has a coastline on the Gulf of Thailand of 443 kilometers (275 miles). The Mekong River flows directly through the country from north to south, eventually flowing into the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. Cambodia's largest city and capital, Phnom Penh, is on the Mekong River. Cambodia is divided into 24 provinces and one capital (Phnom Penh).

Cambodia's geographic area is 181,035 square kilometers and the population is 14.8 million. The current population growth rate is a relatively high at 2.25 percent. Approximately 90 percent of the population is Khmer and Khmer is the official language. Buddhism is the dominant religious group, claiming 95 percent of the population.

Like most of Southeast Asia, Cambodia is warm to hot year round and the climate is dominated by the annual monsoon cycle with its alternating wet (May-Oct) and dry seasons (Nov-Apr). The monsoon cycle is driven by cyclic air pressure that changes over central Asia.


Implementing Partner

  • Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (MAFF)

 


Past Activities

  Past Activities

The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is a low-input methodology, which can be flexibly applied based on the enabling factors and farm conditions. In order to widely disseminate and promote SRI adoption and application, the SRI Secretariat was established in January 2005 by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) with technical support from CEDAC, and financial support from various development partners such as GTZ, FAO, HEKS and Oxfam.

MAFF has provided strong support for the development, promotion and implementation of SRI. In early 2006, SRI was integrated into the National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP) and policy frameworks to reduce food insecurity and poverty of rural households. With strong support from MAFF, in close cooperation with relevant development partners and active involvement of PDAs, by 2012 approximately 149,657 farmers have applied SRI on an area of about 100,720 ha. The average yield was about 3.94t/ha which is higher than the national average rice yield in wet season which is only around 3.17t/ha.

Despite the success, many challenges to SRI promotion remain, such as:

  • Lack of animal manure and other farm resources for compost/fertilizer;
  • Shortage of farm labor to meet intensive requirement for weeding;
  • SRI is only applied on small portions of the field;
  • Difficult to practice alternate flooding and drying of the field;
  • Most farmers still lack confidence on applying and adapting SRI;
  • Different understanding and interpretation of SRI concepts among stakeholders;
  • Lack of monitoring and evaluation system.

By the end of 2009, MAFF recommended to expand the promotion and implementation of SRI nationwide by strengthening the management, execution and coordination mechanism for activities, improving technical aspects via research and training activities and increasing financial support. The following tasks were designated:

  • The Department of Rice Crop (DRC) as the lead agency for overall supervision and management, provides technical advice and monitoring and evaluation of SRI implementation via the National SRI Secretariat.
  • The National SRI Secretariat plays key roles as national executive body for developing SRI implementation strategy, approach and guidelines, coordinating with all concerned stakeholders to push for SRI implementation and promotion, and producing technical documents related to SRI and disseminating these to all relevant stakeholders and farmers.
  • The Department of Agricultural Extension promotes the publications of technical documents and draws best practices, and uses different means to broadly disseminate these to farmers.
  • The Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and Agricultural Schools and Universities to do more researches on SRI components to provide best technical recommendations and practical options to farmers.
  • Provincial Departments of Agriculture to expand the promotion and implementation of SRI in close cooperation with development partners.
  • MAFF also requested all development partners to broaden their technical and financial support for expansion of SRI activities throughout the country because SRI is the way forward for enhancing rice productivity and profitability in Cambodia.

In order to improve the management, development, implementation and promotion of SRI in Cambodia and to achieve the national objective to improve rice production and productivity in a sustainable manner, the SRI Secretariat needs to be re-designed. The new vision for the SRI Secretariat is to play a leadership role in setting strategic priorities for investment in research and extension; provide technical advice and support to government bodies, development partners, NGOs, and act as a hub for information about SRI and other best practices throughout the country irrespective of funding sources and implementing organizations.

The Department of Rice Crop, GDA in collaboration with Oxfam America has worked to strengthen the National SRI Secretariat in Cambodia with the purpose to refine and test this vision and develop a plan for the SRI Secretariat to deliver its mandates effectively. Through long discussions with involved stakeholders, the vision and mission of SRI Secretariat were developed and agreed as follows:

  • Vision: Promoting sustainable rice production and productivity through application of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in ecologically sound and economically efficient way with consideration of climate change mitigation and adaptation leading to rural livelihood improvement and national economy development in Cambodia.
  • Mission:
    • To prepare policies and define priorities for the implementation of the SRI promotion at national level;
    • To ensure coordination between all the institutions involved with SRI;
    • To encourage the implementation of research work in order to provide adapted recommendations to the different situations;
    • To manage the Monitoring and Evaluation system, ensure compatible M&E tools are used by the different stakeholders and compile information at the national level.
  • Organizational structure: The organization structure and Terms of Reference of the SRI Secretariat have been prepared and is ready for submission for MAFF approval.
  • Training and promotion materials: Training and promotion materials on SRI such as technical books, leaflets and posters have been published and distributed to all SRI promoters and relevant stakeholders.
  • M&E system: The M&E system has been developed and tested for use in monitoring the progress of SRI application in the country.

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Country Staffs

Mr. Kong Kea
PMU/ Country Coordinator
SRI Secretariat, Department of Rice Crop
General Directorate of Agriculture, House 54B, St. 656
Sangkat Teuk Laak, Khan Toul Kork
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Phone: (855-17) 959 727
Email: kea_ipm@hotmail.com
Mr. Chhit Mak
National Training Expert
SRI Secretariat, Department of Rice Crop
General Directorate of Agriculture, House 54B, St. 656
Sangkat Teuk Laak, Khan Toul Kork
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Phone:(855-11) 645 390
Email:mak.chhit@fao.org