The first CA-related research activities in Cambodia started in 2004 as part of the Crop Diversification and Smallholder Rubber Development Project (SRDP) Phase 2, funded by the French Agency for Development (AFD) and implemented by the General Directorate of Rubber of MAFF in partnership with the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD). Since then, Cambodia has capacitated necessary human resources with CA technical knowledge and experiences through the experiments and testing of cropping systems of upland annual crops as well as the development of a cover crop genetic bank leading to the start of crop genetic conservation in Bos Khnor commune, Chamkar Leu district, Kampong Cham province.
Over the years, the centre has evolved into what is now known as the Bos Khnor Conservation Agriculture Research for Development Centre (CARDEC). Swisscontact and CIRAD have been working closely with DALRM in supporting the formation of the strategic roadmap for the Bos Khnor center. The roadmap proposes that Bos Khnor turns into a Centre of Excellence for research for development (R4D) in the agroecology sector in Cambodia. It is envisaged that CARDEC (once approved) will be a leading national and regional centre in promoting agroecological transition, food security, and nutrition in the context of climate-smart agricultural modernization.
The mission of CARDEC is to conserve crop genetic resources, conduct experiments, and assess and promote agricultural production systems based on agroecological and sustainable intensification, by building the capacity of relevant stakeholders, especially farmers, to increase agricultural productivity and promote the livelihoods of rural communities.
It is envisioned that CARDEC’s 5-year strategic plan will be implemented by DALRM of GDA/MAFF and will be embedded within DALRM. However, this strategy will be reviewed for its appropriateness and will be revised in accordance with specific framework when there is an official decision recognizing CARDEC.