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The director of the Center for Studies and Development of Cambodian Agriculture (CEDAC), Dr. Y. S. Koma, first tried SRI methods in 1999 after reading about them in an ILEIA newsletter article. During 2000, only 28 farmers participated in the SRI experimentation. Due to the early successes of SRI, the Cambodian government, especially its Minister of Agriculture, H.E. Chan Sarun, officially started endorsing and promoting SRI in 2005. Since then, SRI has been promoted in all provinces of Cambodia. Subsequently, SRI was included in the National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP) for 2006-2010 to raise productivity in the rice sector, and then in the revised NSDP for 2009-2013.

There are also at least 47 NGOs and development projects involved in promoting SRI in different parts of Cambodia. Since 2004, there is a national SRI secretariat hosted by MAFF's Department of Agronomy and Agriculture Land Improvement with technical support from CEDAC and funding support from GTZ (German Technical Cooperation Agency), Oxfam America and GB, FAO and HEKS (a Swiss NGO). Since then, the Secretariat began playing an important role in coordinating and assisting SRI activities in Cambodia, While the secretariat has been less active during 2010-2013, there are plans to strengthen its role in the near future. (See Koma's 2008 note on proposed strategies to utilize the potential of rice production in Cambodia.)

On August 21, 2009, the Minister of Agriculture directed that SRI is to become a mainstay of the agricultural development for Cambodia. According to Mr. Ngin Chhay, director of MAFF's Rice Department, by the end of 2009 there were 110,530 farmers using SRI methods in Cambodia on 59,785 hectares in 4,534 villages; the average SRI yield was calculated at 3.48 t/ha, about 1 t/ha more than the national average. During the 2010 Annual Conference of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), the Minister of Agriculture, H.E. Chan Sarun, emphasized the importance of SRI in his opening speech and the Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen spoke highly about the benefits of SRI for rice production in Cambodia in the closing ceremony. On July 6, 2010, the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) convened a meeting to discuss setting up a SRI National Advisory Board (SRI-NAB).

CEDAC estimated that as of 2011, 100,000 families in Cambodia have applied SRI through the promotion of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, their own NGO and other NGOs in Cambodia. During 2011, CEDAC promoted SRI to 75,395 families on 24,293 ha of arable area in 2,317 villages across 268 communes in 45 districts of 13 Provinces. As of 2012, CEDAC was reportedly supporting 140,000 farmer families in twenty-one provinces. CEDAC's president, Yang Saing Koma, was awarded the prestigious Philippines-based Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, largely for his work with SRI, on July 25, 2012. During the 4th National Farmers Conference (April 4, 2013), Chan Sarun, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said that national paddy productivity increased from 2.74 t/ha in 2008 to 3.13 t/ha in 2012, with a good part of this increase attributable to wider use of SRI methods. The Ministry reports that at least 101,719 hectares are under SRI crop management, which means 150,000-200,000 households.

Beginning in 2013, the System of Rice Intensification in the Lower Mekong River Baisn (SRI-LMB) project, which is led by the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) and sponsored by the European Union (EU), partnered with Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Oxfam America in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) to enhance resilience of rain-fed regions facing climate change in Cambodia and several other LMB countries. The regional project titled "Sustaining and Enhancing the Momentum for Innovation and Learning around the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in the Lower Mekong River Basin (SRI-LMB)," works in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. In Cambodia, provinces include Takeo, Kampong Speu, and Kampot. During 2014, CFPAR, a season-long intensive training on rice production, was implemented by General Directorate of Agriculture (GDA) of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) Cambodia in collaboration with Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). During 2015, CEDAC organized a national and provincial SRI Planter Championship 2015 to raise awareness of SRI principles and to demonstrate effective SRI methods. Winners will be announced in June 2015. A July 2015 article in Paddy and Water Environment concludes that the key factors for improving the degree of SRI adoption (in three rain-fed villages in southern Cambodia) are farmer zeal and careful attention rather than the home-to-plot distance and availability of labor.

In conjuntion with the SRI-LMB Project, 170 Farmer Participatory Research (FPAR) were conducted in Cambodia from 2014 to 2016 with 3,393 farmers (2,061 women) involved. The Cambodian SRI-LMB experience was reported at the Regional Review and Planning Workshop of the SRI-LMB Project organized in Hanoi, Vietnam on 24-25 April 2017. The Centre for Research on Optimal Agricultural Practices (CROAP), which is associated with the the Karuna Battambang Organization (KBO) in Battambang, has been evaluating and promoting the SRI beginning in 2016. By 2019, SRI methods were being used by 80+ farmers in the provinces of Battambang, Buntheiey Meanchai, and Kompong Chhnang; these numbers increased increased to over 240 during 2020.

Progress and Activities

2021 Updates
For 1999-2014 SRI activities, see SRI Cambodia Archives

Reports and Articles

(additional material can be found on the documents page of the Cambodia SRI website maintained in Phnom Penh)

Items in the Press and on Blogs

Research and Evaluations

(organized by date received)

Cambodia SRI Groups and Websites

Video and Audio

PowerPoint Presentations

(Notes: Click here to see all SRI Cambodia presentations on Transcripts are at the bottom of each presentation. There is a "full screen" button at the lower right corner of the presentation to enlarge the presentation. If you have trouble viewing the slideshow, make sure you have Flash installed and JavaScript enabled.)

Photo Archive

The SRI-Rice Cambodia Photo Collection that is running at the top of the page contains pictures obtained from Y.S. Koma (CEDAC), Norman Uphoff and others. (Click on the photo showing to enlarge it and to see captions). If you do not have Flash installed, click here to see individual photos which are made available on the SRI-Rice Picasa site.

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