Rice is the cornerstone of Cambodian agriculture, and production systems have, over the last couple of years, undergone significant change. Primarily, these changes are related to the spread of direct seeding, a significant increase in the proportion of irrigated rice and the replacement of animal draught for machinery for field preparation. This project is focused on the first of these changes, addressing some of the common constraints to high productivity such as excessive weed infestation, uneven crop emergence and poor water control. This will be achieved through the increased capacity of machinery in both direct seeded rice and conservation tillage, also leading to timelier crop establishment, reduced weeding costs and better water management.
The Cambodia Agricultural Value Chain Program (CAVAC) supports the extension of the project and helps create better policy and market environment for the dissemination of new agricultural machinery and herbicides. Through this project, Cambodia is expected to have tested and improved methods of direct seeding rice, with benefits flowing directly to Cambodian smallholders.