Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment (CCVA)

Under the CSA project, SNV prepared various tools for the climate change vulnerability assessment on specific crops. The tools consisted of crop phonology, timeline, seasonal calendar, stakeholder analysis, resource mapping, mobility map, livelihood profiling, etc.

From 8-10 April, 2014 SNV conducted CCVA in Basac commune of Svay Chrum district, in Svay Rieng province to assess the climate change impact on vegetable production and to under adaptive measures carried out by the farmers. The meeting also discussed future adaptation measures.

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Presentation on the result of the small group discussion

Men and women farmers suffered different impact from the climate variation and change. Normally, men dominate women if they worked in the mixed group. The women were very active if they worked in the separated group with men. 16 farmers from 3 villages in the studied communes attended the focus group discussion; they are members of vegetable producer associations. In addition, 2 provincial staff and 1 communal staff from the Cambodian Farmer Association Federation of Agriculture Producers (CFAP) participated in the whole assessment process.

The assessment team consisted of 2 SNV advisers (Mr. Yim Soksophors and Ms. Saya Marta), they also met village chiefs, deputy village chief, commune chief and other commune councillors in separated meetings to present the CSA project and to collect additional information. Moreover, the team also met the Provincial Department of Water Resources and Meteorology (PDoWRAM) to collect rainfall, temperature and humidity data in the last 15 years for the scenario planning.
in the last 15 years for the scenario planning.
 
Summary of major information provided by the participants during the assessment:

■ Vegetable growing is normally started in the beginning of the raining seasons (June, July) and finished in August or September. Except, the farmers who have ponds have vegetables up to November/December. The farmers buy hybrid seed from local markets, but the quality is not really good. There is no vegetable seed producer in their community.

■ Drought happens almost every year, but only 2 major floods in the last 5 years. In 2011, flood and drought happened in the same year.

■ The farmers have noticed that heat is increasing during the last 2 years

■ Insects and diseases are the climatic associated problems and they occurred every year. The farmers use some pesticide, although more insects and diseases occurred.

■ Women and men shared similar labours in the vegetable growing, men normally involved in soil preparation and fertilizing, but women much involved in selling of harvested products.

■ To adapt to drought, some farmers dug ponds to harvest the rain water; however the water is not enough for planting vegetable in the whole dry season.

■ More people migrated from the commune to look for off-farm jobs (e.g., selling labours to work as construction workers, working for farmers in other areas inside the country, etc.) if the drought / flood happened.

■ CFAP and KADRA organizations implement their agricultural projects in the studied commune, but integration of climate smart agriculture practices into the training is very limited.

■ The farmers sell their vegetables to local markets, neighbouring families, and also supply to Svay Rieng market about 10 km from their commune.

Based on the results of the assessment, drought, flood, insects and diseases were the major climatic problems in vegetable production. For the next step, the CSA project will prepare the adaptation plan in consultation with the farmers, local authorities and other stakeholders.

Dialogue on Fertilizer Application On-Farm Trials for Wet Season Rice in Takeo Province

With the financial support from the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV), Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) partnered with the General Directorate of Agriculture (GDA) and Cambodian Center for Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) conducted fertilizer on-farm trials in Takeo and Prey Veng provinces. The trials conducted by RUA students within the farmers’ rice fields. Two RUA professors acted as advisors for the students. The purpose of the trials is to find out the rate of fertilizer should be applied for wet season rice production and to verify with the CARDI recommendation rate.

Participants in the dialogue

Participants in the dialogue

During the last several years, rice cultivation practices have been differently practiced by farmers such as transplanting, broadcasting, transplanting by using drumseeder , direct seeding, etc. These practices and under the affect of climate change, the fertilizer application would have changed to produce optimum rice yield. Currently, the farmers use a lot of fertilizer especially the dry season rice production, 5 to 7 bags (250 to 350 kg) per hectare. This is actually very high amount of fertilizer, which contribute to increasing production cost but reducing profit of the farmers at the same time. More importantly, it also affect to the greenhouse gas emission to the atmosphere. By this reason, the on-farm trials is conducted.

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Mr. Chhoung Sophal, dean of agronomy faculty, presenting the findings

On 21 March 2014, a dialogue on fertilizer on farm trial was organized at RUA. Approximately 25 participants attended the dialogue, including chief of provincial department of agriculture from the PADEE project targeted provinces, advisors to PADEE project, students from the faculty of agronomy of RUA, etc.

Mr. Kong Kea represented of GDA provided opening remark at the beginning of the workshop. I also provided some impression before Mr. Kong Kea gave his opening remark. Then, series of presentation were conducted. I myself presented about the general concept of climate smart agriculture as well as the brief background of the CSA project that SNV has been implementing. Mr. Seak Soly, presented the overall background of the fertilizer on farm trails and then Mr. Chhoung Sophal and Mr. Sophoanrith (RUA) presented the findings from the trials in Takeo and Prey Veng provinces. The trial in Takeo was conducted with the wet season rice production using transplanting method, but the trial in Prey Veng conducted with the dry season rice production using broadcasting method.

Observation

Directors of the provincial department of agriculture in the PADEE targeted provinces, PADEE project advisors are interested to integrate on-farm trials into the PADEE project. They noticed that the on-farm trials conducted by RUA with technical support from GDA and CARDI are really useful. They also raised that PADEE has some budget available for the on-farm trials. So, it is good to further discuss the available budget.

The participants raised that more trials should be conducted by using the same protocol in order to verify and validate the initial findings. They mentioned that the findings from one cycle trial is not sufficient, the trials should be conducted at least 4-5 cycles.

In regards to the protocol design, the participants raised that trial plots should only be selected in the fields. There is no need to select trial plots in RUA station because they are not represented the exact soil type and quality in the field. The participants said that many trails in RUA station have been conducted by students, varieties of fertilizers were used that is why the soil quality is much better if compare to the soil quality in the fields. In response, RUA will only do the trails in the field (not in RUA station) for the next trials, but the number of replication will be increased from 3 to at least 4.

Talking about who will lead the future trials, the participants wanted CARDI to take the lead because CARDI is specialized and influent agency in providing recommendation on the fertilizer application rate. However, CARDI should cooperate with the provincial department of agriculture and other stakeholders to ensure that relevant stakeholders are involved in the trials process. In addition, some participants raised that SNV should work closely with CARDI and PADEE to have on-farm trails implemented in the future. Mr. Kong Kea from GDA also raised that SNV should try to mobilize resources / funds to support the future trials.

Field trials should not only focus on fertilizer application, the participants wanted various trials to be conducted such as, trial on the use of fertilizer, natural manure and combination of fertilizer and the natural manure, etc. Some other participants raised about the use of bio slurry to improve the soil fertility.



Collecting information on nutrition and agriculture situation in Svay Chrum district of Svay Rieng province

From 18 to 19 March 2014, I carried out a field visit it Svay Chrum district of Svay Rieng province with Ms. Chhoun Soklang food security adviser. The purpose of the visit was to understand the current situation of agricultural and nutritional practices of villagers in Svay Chrum district of Svay Rieng province. Several communes in the district were selected for the study. We met the villagers and local authorities (village chief and commune council) in group to discuss the agricultural and nutritional issues. In addition, we also interviewed staff of Watanak Pheap organization and Mr. Thoeun staff of CFAP about their interventions in the agricultural and nutritional fields as well as challenges that they are facing in relation to farmers’ adoption of innovation introduced by their organizations.

Tarpaulin pond

Tarpaulin pond

Based on the results of the group discussion, a major barrier of the farmers in doing agricultural practice is water shortage in the dry season, especially from February to May. During this period of time, the agricultural activity is very limited and the villagers lacked of food for the family consumption. Not much of the vegetables could be produced while water is not sufficient. The villagers need to buy vegetables, meat, and other food commodities from local markets. In general, the dry season vegetables that are available in the local markets are imported from neighboring countries, especially Vietnam, which high use of agri-chemical.  On the other hand, majority of the people did not understand definition of nutrition, most of the women were not able to give the definition, but few men could give some ideas. Generally, same food is prepared for adults and children.

vegetables planted in bags

vegetables planted in bags

To deal with the water shortage problem, few farmers with technical and financial support from SNV prepared tarpaulin pond in order to eliminate water percolation into the soil. This help water to last longer. Based on the farmer’s observation, the water available in the tarpaulin pond is about 2-3 months longer than the normal ponds. However, the amount of water available is very less for planting vegetables (in March, there is about 0.5 meter depth of water remaining in the tarpaulin ponds). The villagers only used that water to survive some natural fishes that they caught in the rainy season. Fishes from the tarpaulin ponds provided some food for the farmer families especially in the dry season. Mr. Thoeun, staff of CFAP raised that the cost of tarpaulin is about 200 USD and it is expensive for the villagers to afford for it at once. The tarpaulin might be usable for three years but the farmers are reluctant to put their investment in buying new tarpaulin / plastic to replace the broken tarpaulin. On the other hand, the level of spontaneous dissemination and adoption of this innovations is low due to the expensive price of the tarpaulin.​ In addition, the villagers have changed some practices for planting vegetables in the dry season, some of them planted vegetables in small containers, bag, etc. By this way, the villagers raised that they used less water and it is easy to manage the soil fertility.

Meeting with Mr. Chhoung Sophal, dean of agronomy faculty to prepare knowledge sharing workshop

On 14 March 2014, Mr. Yim Soksophors, climate smart agriculture adviser together with Mr. Seak Soly, CSA consultant had a meeting with Mr. Chhoung Sophal, dean of agronomy faculty of the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA). The meeting was organized at RUA to discuss the preparation of knowledge sharing workshop on fertilizer application rate for the wet season rice production on Prateah Lang soil type using Pkhar Romduol rice variety. It is to recall that the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV) provided funding support to RUA and General Directorate of Agriculture (GDA) to conduct on farm trials on fertilizer application rate on the wet season rice production in Takeo and Prey Veng provinces. Intern students, voluntary students and farmers participated in the on farm trails. Data collection is completed and the reports are being finalized, the results will be presented in the workshop in order to collect feedback, comment as well as to discuss recommendations for the future action.

Agenda and key responsibility before, during and after the workshop were discussed. Different presentations will be conducted including the general climate change concept to recall the understanding of climate change, results from the fertilizer application rate on farm trials conducted students from RUA will be presented, then plenary group discussion will be carried out to collect feedback and comment from participants.  It is expected that the findings will reflect the application rate the fertilizer adapt to the current practices of the rice production in Cambodia and it would also provide some ideas for Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) to update its recommendation on the optimum fertilizer application rate for the wet season rice production.

CSA regional team meeting in Kathmandu, Nepal

Under the climate smart agriculture project of the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV), Mr. Yim Sok Sophors, CSA advisor, together with the agriculture sector leader, conducted a field mission to Kathmandu, Nepal from 3 to 6 March 2014. The purpose was to join the regional CSA project team meeting which 4 countries participated including Bhutan, Cambodia, Laos-PDR, and Nepal. The meeting was held at Park Village Resort in the outskirt of Kathmandu.

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Each country project presented the rational background, key activities and accomplishment achieved last year in 2013 as well as presented the work plan for 2014. Plenary presentation and question and answer forum were conducted during the meeting. Nepal is introducing the water saving technique through drip irrigation, water pit harvesting. Cambodia is introducing the water storage and supply systems through tarpaulin pond and Rovai pump & wind pump, Laos is working on the rice intensification.

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Understanding on general concept of the climate smart agriculture, vulnerability assessment, theory of change have significantly increased. The result of the meeting would be helpful for revising the result change for each country project, preparing and implementing activity plan in each target country.

Climate vulnerability and impact assessment on cassava production in Kg. cham

Cassava is the second important crop after rice. The number of cassava farmers has increased from year to year, especially in Kampong Cham province, because the farmers consider that cassava is a cash crop to make additional income for their families. However, the market price is up and down depending on the demand from Vietnam.

In cooperation with the Kampong Cham Provincial Department of Agriculture, Mr. YIM Soksophors, climate smart agriculture advisor from the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV) conducted a climate vulnerability and impact assessment on cassava in Andongpok village, Sralab commune from 18 to 21 February 2014.

Cassava planting in Sralab Commune, Thbong Khmum District, Kampong Cham Province

Cassava planting in Sralab Commune, Thbong Khmum District, Kampong Cham Province

The objectives was to assess the vulnerability and climate impact on cassava production in the studied village and to collect adaptation activities carried out the cassava farmers.

Focus group discussion with 10 key informants (5 women) was organized and field observation to the cassava farms was conducted. According to result of the FGD, drought is a main climatic problem affected the cassava production. The associated problems are pest insects and diseases, and the farmers did not have effective solutions for these problems yet. The drought happened in the beginning of the rainy season, which resulted in delay of cassava production. The insect (mealy bug) and the disease called witches broom were just seriously outbreak last year in 2013. Additionally, the farmers also have limited technical capacity in cassava production. Soil preparation, planting methods, variety selection are critical matters observed during the assessment.

Cassava stem affected by the witches broom disease.

Cassava stem affected by the witches broom disease.

Only CIAT is working in the studied village.
Training just provided to farmers in the late season, so they have not yet applied the practices they have learned.
Based on the result of the assessment, it is recommended to raise awareness for farmers on climate change so that the farmers will have basic knowledge of climate change especially the climate change impact on their cassava production. Capacity building on resilient cassava production should be provided the farmers especially the appropriate planting techniques, soil improvement, pest and disease management, etc. The importance is to increase their adaptive capacity in cassava production. Field days should also be organized by inviting other cassava farmers to participate in the event so that learning is wider spread in the village / community. :)

Ronous Khaeng

Ronous Khaeng Community protected area is located in Keo Seima District of Mondulkiri Province. It is about 45 km from Senmonorom provincial town. It takes about 2 hours and a half to three hours for traveling  from the provincial town to the village. In the rainy season, it takes longer time to reach the village.

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Almost all of the villagers are Phnong indigenous community. Main family occupation is Chamkar (combination of crops planted in the same land), low land rice farming, livestock husbandry (chicken, pig and cattle raising) and the villagers conduct some off-farm activities such as selling labors and collection of non timber forest product.

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Agricultural purpose is to produce food for the family consumption, not for sell. Some families could not produce enough food for eating due to lack of irrigagion water and limited understanding of appropriate agricultural practices.  The land is very dry in the dry season. Farmers said some fruit trees (e.g., mango, coconut, jackfruit etc.) died.

To address the above problems, the community wanted to build some water havesting infrastructure such as water gate, community ponds, open wells, etc. They wanted to have water for drinking and farming.

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