Towards Regenerative Agriculture in Cambodia

Sustainable agriculture
There is a need for the Cambodian agriculture sector to shift to regenerative agriculture, which will require multiple components to work in cohesion.

To address the effects of climate change, the Cambodian agriculture sector needs to shift from increased production through land to sustainable practices.

Land degradation is a problem in Cambodia that affects the livelihoods of people by limiting their access to food and water, and increasing the risk of poverty. It also leads to a reduction in the provision of ecosystem services, but there are measures in place to mitigate and adapt to it.

Regenerative Agriculture is a way of farming that rebuilds soil organic matter and restores degraded soil biodiversity. Therefore, achieving "Land Degradation Neutrality" is important to meet the objectives for food security, poverty reduction, and increased climate resilience and competitiveness of farming systems. 

Initiatives in Cambodia

The practice of regenerative agriculture is slowly gaining momentum in Cambodia, but it is still in its early stages.

Regenerative agriculture activities have been led by the Government in Cambodia with help from various projects and programs that provide institutional support. It has moved from research to commercialization, with private sector engagement being crucial for a sustainable change to occur.

Challenges for the transition and the system approach

Among some of the challenges to regenerative agriculture practices' adoption was lack of coordination between different stakeholders. However, there has been a more coordinated effort between the public-private and development partners to facilitate the transition towards regenerative agriculture.

The project "Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture" and its partners are working to improve regenerative agriculture through better cooperation between different systems. These include:

  • Research: Centre of Excellence
  • Skills/Human Resources: Regenerative agriculture in the curriculum
  • Government coordination mechanism (CASIC)
  • Extension (MetKasekor)
  • Technologies and practices
  • Transition Financing

This project is financed by the Happel Foundation, the Symphasis Foundation, the Leopold Bachmann Foundation, among other donors. It is part of the Swisscontact Development Programme, which is co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), 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.