The 5- year strategic roadmap of the CARDEC plans to pave the way for new developments in the agriculture sector

Sustainable agriculture
The Cambodian Conservation Agriculture Research for Development Center (CARDEC) officially launched its 5-year strategic roadmap on November 14th, 2022. The launching event was organized by the General Department of Agriculture and was presided over by H.E Om Kimsir, Secretary of State of Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, Chairman Executive Board of CASIC (Conservation Agriculture Sustainable Intensification Consortium).

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 (Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries) in partnership with the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD). Since then, Cambodia has capacitated necessary human resources with 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, in Kampong Cham province. Over the years, this station in Bos Khnor evolved into what is now known as the Cambodian Conservation Agriculture Research for Development Centre (CARDEC).

"This journey started with innovations at the field scale with practices related to conservation agriculture and the tools that have to go with it, such as no-till planter, roller crimper, cover crops, among others. The transition from conventional farming systems to conservation agriculture and now agroecology is not straight forward and require efforts and coordination from different sectors."
H.E. OM Kimsir, ‍Secretary of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Steering Committee Chair, CASIC.

The 5-year strategic plan proposes that research center in Bos Khnor (CARDEC) transforms into a Centre of Excellence for research for development (R4D) in the agroecology sector in Cambodia.

"The Bos Khnor Station (CARDEC) implements research for development activities in the field of CA/SI since more than 18 years and the General Directorate of Agriculture has developed over the last year a 5-year strategic plan that aims at upgrading Bos Khnor to become a leading national and regional Centre for the promotion of agroecology, food security and nutrition in the context of climate-smart agricultural modernization."
Dr. Ngin Chhay, Director General of the General Directorate of Agriculture

Through the 5-year Strategic Roadmap, CARDEC can now strategically promote research for development on agroecology practices, strengthen research and agroecology skills and improve R4D infrastructure and capacity with the objective to accelerate the transition to Regenerative Agriculture. It can also effectively contribute to its mission to conserve crop genetic resources, conduct experiments, assess, and promote agricultural production systems based on agroecological and sustainable intensification, along with building the capacity of relevant stakeholders (especially farmers) to increase agricultural productivity and promote the livelihoods of rural communities.

"Bos Khnor is the cradle of the activities of Conservation Agriculture and directly connected with several provinces including Kampong Cham, Kampong Thom, Preah Vihear, Battambang, Kandal. The current design of a five-year strategic plan to upgrade Bos Khnor as a national and regional R4D training Center in Conservation Agriculture for Agroecology.…. With financial and technical support from CIRAD and Swisscontact, DALRM (Department of Agricultural Land Resource Management) has coordinated the design of the first ever Strategic Development Plan 2022- 2026 as a guiding document to upgrade the Center (Bos Khnor). I am pleased to share our ambition for your insight today."
Dr. Seng Vang, Director, Department of Agricultural Land Resources Management, General Directorate of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

Swisscontact through the Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture project along with Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement (CIRAD) are proud to have provided support to DALRM and worked with Dr. Seng Vang, who was instrumental in leading the development of this 5-year Strategic Development Plan.

The Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture project is financed by the Happel Foundation, the Symphasis Foundation, and the Leopold Bachmann Foundation among other donors. As part of the Swisscontact Development Programme, it is co-financed by SDC (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA). 

Sustainable agriculture
Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture 
The project promotes appropriate technologies and extension services for a sustainable intensification of agricultural production leading to reduced negative impacts on the environment including an improved soil health that allows smallholder farmers to increase their productivity and income.