Mis à jour le 08/07/22

Cambodia is one the Less Developed Country according to the United Nations classification, and has to face many challenges for its development. One of them is to increase the production of the main cultivated plant, rice, in a more sustainable way to fit with pesticides regulation and markets for export. In this context we propose to create a multidisciplinary group in agroecology on rice diversified crop systems, from agronomy to soil ecology, plant health, to rice seed quality.
The objective of this JEAI is to identify parameters in diversified agricultural rice systems allowing an increase in soil & plant health, and a decrease in pesticide use & their occurrence as residues in consumption products. Such multidisciplinary approach will identify best agricultural practices fitting with pesticides regulations and markets that will be promoted to farmers for a more sustainable production of rice. This team includes researchers from the Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC), the Royal University of Agronomy (RUA) and the University of Battambang (UBB), that have an history of collaborations on rice agriculture.

The project is divided into four main tasks, leaded by Cambodian expert in each science field involved: the first task is dedicated to the set-up of diversified rice cropping systems in three agroecosystems of Cambodia that will serve as study sites for the three others tasks. The systems targeted involves combinations of crop diversification, reduction or no tillage, use of cover and relay crops, vermicompost, organic fertilizers, with no (or low) use of pesticides. The task two is focused on plant health, by monitoring diseases and parasites in the different systems, ,analyzing rice microbiomes and connecting data to plant phenotypes. The task three is targeted to soil health, by analyzing organic matter transformation, maintenance of soil structure, nutrient cycling and soil functional biodiversity. The last task is devoted to rice quality produced in the different systems, by analyzing protein content, pesticides residues in rice seeds, and farmer livelihood.

The expected results are

  1. to assess the range of ecosystem services provided under agroecological management when compared with conventional management (i.e. identification of agricultural practices allowing integrated plant disease and parasites management, soil quality, and production of high value rice;
  2. give national and international visibility for the JEAI group in rice agroecology and integrated pest management
  3. capacity building by training master students in microbiomes analyses and soil agroecology
  4. transfer knowledge to farmers of sustainable agricultural practices in agreement with biopesticides regulations and export markets.

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