drought farming

overview

Rice farming represents a huge industry in Cambodia and most rice production is undertaken on thousands of small family farms. Growing rice is, however, one of the most intensive farming practices there is, requiring high inputs. In addition, rice crops are especially vulnerable to reduced / late rains which can be devastating to farmers who rely solely on income from rice production.

This project will introduced an innovative solution called 'raised-bed cropping systems' which enables farmers to diversity the crops they plant to match different rainfall periods. This will reduce the risk of total crop failure, increase the nutritional value of food they eat and increase the diversity of produce they can sell.

To ensure farmers have seed when they need it to plant in raised-beds, we will also establish seed banks to store seed from key crops, making them available to farmers as required. Seed banks provide access and availability which is incredibly important to ensure farmers can plant at the right time to yield a successful harvest.

key outcomes

 1  

Increased food production across a range of seasons and reduction of total crop failure

 2  

Increased food availability through the dry season

 3  

Increased consumption of nutritious food throughout the year

Cambodia’s most recent Demographic and Health survey (2014) indicates 32% (or approximately 500,000) of children under five are stunted.

The opportunity to diversify is an important way for small family farms in Cambodia to self-insure their livelihood against the occurrence of shocks, such as a delay in the monsoon rains that could impact agricultural production.

Our program will help communities to be more drought-resilient by introducing cropping systems that diversity and match differing rainfall periods.

 snapshot  

how are we doing it?

Using the raised-bed cropping system, we will train farmers how to plant additional crops in their rice fields alongside their rice. As well as training and access to a seed bank, we will be working with the farmers on the ground to provide ongoing support. In addition, post-harvest losses of major food crops can be as high as 30% due to weevil and rat infestations, therefore we will roll out strategies, such as airtight containers (silos, drums, bags) to reduce these losses.

Project Activities:

Stage 1:

  • Establish a Centre in Cambodia that will introduce a range of crop varieties to the local village, evaluate the harvest success and also evaluate nutritional benefits provided to families.

  • Establish a seed bank.

  • Develop a training manual to train farmers in the evaluation, selection and storage of crop varieties.

Stage 2:

  • Establish a network of community-based variety trials and seed banks throughout Cambodia to ensure that farmers have ready access to seeds suited to their local environment.

your partnership

By partnering with us on this project, you will be investing in the future of farmers in Cambodia, by providing training to introduce them to new crop varieties, seed selection techniques and seed saving. This investment will see long-term gains as farmers increasingly diversify their crops to yield a better return,  and protect themselves against drought, significant income loss and starvation.

Starter pack of seeds and new crop varieties: $50

Storage drum and storage containers: $100

Training program: $500

contact us

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An initiative of World Relief Australia