According to vegetable farmers in Svay Rieng province, Cambodia, the peak raining season is normally from August to October 2015. Most of the vegetable farmers stop vegetable planting during this period of time due to too much rain, it created water-logging and the vegetables cannot grow well under this condition. This means that the farmers lost their food and income during these three months (Aug-Oct).
On 12 May 2015, the SNV Climate Smart Agriculture Project in cooperation with the Provincial Department of Agriculture of Svay Rieng province and Cambodian Farmer Associations Federation of Agricultural Producers (CFAP) organised a training for 28 farmer leaders from 6 communes in Svay Chrum district on the raised bed gardening. This technique can be considered as a climate smart agricultural technique because it enables the farmers to grow vegetables in the peak raining season. Farmers who experienced in applying this technique said that it is also a good water saving technique, therefore it can be also applied in the duration of water shortage. It is easy for water and soil management.
Photo of the raised bed garden is shown below
Actually, the raised bed gardening is not a new technique. Some farmers have already applied this technique, but adoption of this technique is still low. There are some observations on this technique, some people said that this technique is more appropriate for commercial farmers who produce vegetables for market supply rather the subsistence farmers who produce for family consumption. Perhaps, high investment is needed for applying this technique. For instance, the construction cost of the raised bed garden could be a constraint for some (small) farmers. To address this challenge, the project will work with relevant local stakeholders to make it economically cost-effective.
The climate-smart agriculture project will work with several farmers to test this innovation during this raining season. If it is successfully applied with a fruitful result, it is expected that other farmers will adopt this technique to make more income from vegetable growing in the peak raining season.