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Contemporary practices, constraints and opportunities for non-rice crops in Cambodia

Farquharson, R., Chea, S., Chapho, S., Bell, R.W.ORCID: 0000-0002-7756-3755, Vang, S., Vance, W., Martin, R., Ung, S. and Scott, F. (2006) Contemporary practices, constraints and opportunities for non-rice crops in Cambodia. Cambodian Journal of Agriculture, 7 (2). pp. 1-12.

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Cambodia has achieved food security with respect to rice production and now has an opportunity to pay more attention to boosting production of upland crops such as maize (corn), soybean, sesame, mungbean, cassava, peanut and cowpea. While rice remains the main crop in Cambodia, the production of other crops is undergoing a rapid expansion and will be especially important for the development of those parts of the Kingdom unsuited to lowland rice. We present results from socio-economic surveys carried out in the Battambang, Kampong Cham and Takeo Provinces to identify available resources, management practices and key constraints for emerging upland cropping systems. These are mainly cash crops, so the important issues to consider are profitability, technological and management changes, and household and social issues. The surveys were conducted in the Districts of Kamrieng, Sampov Lun, Rotonak Mondol and Banan in Battambang Province, Chamkar Leu, Ou Reang Ov and Tbong Khmum in Kampong Cham Province, and Tramkak in Takeo Province. Sample sizes were 181 in Battambang and Kampong Cham, and 50 in Takeo. Generally farm families had a male head aged in the mid-40s, with 3 to 4 years of schooling. However, there are significant numbers of female farmers among survey respondents. Family size averaged 5 to 6 persons; with 2 to 3 being dependents and levels of off-farm work very low. Average farm size was 2 to 8 ha, and capital items owned included draft animals, ox carts and mouldboard ploughs, as well as tractors and disc ploughs in some areas. The main reasons given for not growing crops were poor yield performance, lack of knowledge (especially about insects), concerns about profitability, land/soil constraints, labour/equipment issues, and agronomic and climate risk (including drought). These results point to the need for focused research on new technologies and management as they affect crop yields and profits, and for increased extension of this information to Cambodian farmers.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
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