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CONSERVATION AGRICULTURE, A 4 WINS SOLUTION FOR


RAINFED AGRICULTURE IN MEKONG COUNTRIES:
THE CASE OF CAMBODIA
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By: Stephane BOULAKIA (CIRAD)
2
PEN Vuth (General Directorate of Agriculture, MAFF)
3
SANN Vathana (Council for Agriculture and Rural Development)
1
Stephane CHABIERSKI (CIRAD)
4
Olivier GILARD (AFD)

Background Paper for Conference on the " The Environments of the Poor”, 24-26 Nov 2010,
New Delhi5

SUMMARY
1. In “Mekong” countries (Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, …), the agricultural sector provides
the livelihood for a greater share of the population than its share part of the GDP. Proportion
of poors exceed the average national indicator and could increase due to the degradation of
environment and climate change impact (soil fertility, erosion, increased population
density …).
2. For some years AFD funded research development projects based on Direct sowing
Mulch based Cropping systems (DMC), also known as “no tillage” systems. These projects
implemented with the technical and scientific support of Cirad in Cambodia, Laos and
Vietnam prove their efficiency for a 4 wins solution : (i) climate change adaptation and (ii)
mitigation, (iii) agriculture productivity and (iv) affordable to poor smallholders.
3. In the case of Cambodia, this pilot phase pave the path to a strategy of territorial
planning in the less densely populated peripheral areas allowing a sustainable equilibrium
between natural conservation forests, productive forests and agricultural development. The
potential could be up to 5 M ha of productive lands creating about 2 millions jobs and
generating 5.5 billion USD of yearly revenues, part of which could be dedicated to poor
households.
4. The question is no more “what is the solution” but “how to implement” …

1
CIRAD – PERSYST, Research Unit on “mulch based cropping systems”, stephane.boulakia@cirad.fr,
stephane.chabierski@cirad.fr
2
Deputy Director of the General Directorate of Agriculture and Director of PADAC, penvuth@camintel.com
3
Deputy General Secretary of the Council for Agriculture and Rural Development vathana20@yahoo.com
4
Agence française de Développement (French Development Agency), gilardo@afd.fr
5
For more information, see the conference website: www.adb.org/Documents/Events/2010/Environments-Poor/