Kratie Province in Cambodia is prone to a range of natural resource challenges and impending impacts of climate change, yet its residents have low levels of knowledge regarding preparation and adaptation to these scenarios. This project has introduced an integrated approach to community resilience by linking water management to sustainable agricultural production and food security in 21 villages within the Chhlong and Sambor districts of Kratie Province.
The project has restored small-scale irrigation systems in the region, including reservoirs, canals, dams and ponds. Renovated irrigation schemes have provided more control for small farm holders to start agricultural activities on at their discretion. Farmers have established water-user groups to manage the water resources and maintain the sustainability of the schemes. Water use and maintenance committees work together to manage the ponds, canals, reservoirs, dams and pumping wells.
New innovations and techniques addressing the impacts of climate change have been successfully applied by farmers. Lead farmers have been trained in agricultural resilience techniques in collaboration with the Kratie Provincial Department of Agriculture. Additionally, the schemes have contributed to the increase of multi-crop farming options throughout year and have helped reduce water shortages. These innovations include the introduction of home gardening, System of Rice Intensification (SRI), and raising animals.
Local food production has increased, and farmers have given positive feedback on the project achievements. Farmers are seeing an increase in rice production, a longer growing season, and easier animal husbandry as access to water is available more readily all year round. Communities are also benefiting as water is now available for cooking, drinking and home gardening.
Demonstration farms have been set up as knowledge hubs, with lead farmers trained to coordinate regular monthly meetings to share experiences. Farmers are sharing the techniques they’ve learnt to increase yields and deal with challenges such as floods, drought and diseases. Innovative farming techniques for vegetable and livestock farming have been introduced and data is being collected to help understand volume being cultivated for personal needs and for sale.
The project is implemented in partnership with the Cambodian Rural Development Team and Partnership for Development in Kampuchea.