"If we make the best use of three locally available, renewable assets-natural, social, and human capital-we can generate productive and environmentally sustainable farming systems," researcher Jules Pretty said today during the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting.
Pretty, Professor of Environment and Society at the University of Essex, United Kingdom, joined agriculture experts and agronomists at a AAAS session entitled, "Sustainable Agriculture in the Developing World: Innovative Examples."
Koma Yang Siang, Executive Director of the Centre d'Etude et de Developpement Agricole, discussed recent innovations in Cambodian farming like the implementation of the Ecological System of Rice Intensification (SRI), and its successful impact on rice farmers.
The SRI trains farmers in the management of plant, soil, nutrient, water and pests, teaching them to transplant young seedlings, implement shallow transplanting, and maintain minimal water levels in their fields. According to Koma, 500 farmers have adopted these techniques, and 50 are converting their fields into a diversified and integrated farm or multi-purpose farm. Using SRI, Koma explained, farmers that traditionally used rain-fed rice farming can increase their rice yield from one or two tons to as many as three to six tons per hectare, without depending on the herbicides and pesticides that contribute to environmental degradation.
"Cambodia is heavily dependent on agriculture," Koma said. "We need to find a good solution for small farmers which make up around 85 percent of the total population. The Rice Intensification Program can be a good solution for the hig
Contact: Monica Amarelo
American Association for the Advancement of Science