Asian Mega-Deltas Initiative conducts field days on aquaculture and rice-field ponds in Cambodia

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The CGIAR Initiative on Asian Mega-Deltas (AMD) organized field days in Takeo and Prey Veng, Cambodia, focusing on improved aquaculture and rice-field pond techniques. With 92 participants, including 36 women, the events aimed to share knowledge, engage farmers, promote sustainable practices, and gain local support.

Participants consisted of representatives of PDAFF, Fisheries Administration Cantonment (FiAC), non-government organization partners, agricultural cooperative, farmers groups, and WorldFish.

Knowledge sharing and farmer engagement

Presentations and demonstrations introduced farmers to improved fish farming practices developed by FiAC partners. A focus group discussion helped identify specific practices that farmers are interested in adopting, emphasizing the importance of sustainable and nutritious aquaculture.

Local commune chief Mr. Neang Sokhon expressed his gratitude for the initiative, highlighting its potential to improve livelihoods in the face of climate change. Dr. Mak Sithirith, WorldFish Country Manager, emphasized WorldFish’s long-standing commitment to improving fish production in Cambodia.

Mr. Nheb Srun, Director of the Provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, highlighted the importance of fish consumption for health and Takeo’s aquaculture potential. He commended the project’s support and advised farmers to leverage their learnings for increased income.

To see the experiment site, the participants visited the Ouk Bros aquaculture pond to observe fish harvesting techniques.

After the site visit, the participating farmers presented the experiment results and income analysis. Farmers Noun Sambat and Phy Thun presented their rice-field pond management practices, including habitat enhancement and fish migration, resulting in a combined net income of 112 USD from rice cultivation and 121.50 USD from fish harvest. Mrs. Uy Sinoun also showcased her successful aquaculture pond techniques, achieving a net income of 128.10 USD.

Focus group discussion on farmer interest

A facilitated discussion revealed key learnings from the presentations, such as: aquaculture techniques including proper pond management (pumping water, liming), fingerling selection, predator protection with nets, and regular feeding/monitoring; and rice-field pond techniques like pond preparation (shelters, limited aquatic plants, waterways), water level management, rice planting for fish migration, and fish sanctuary maintenance for breeding.

The discussions also highlighted strong farmer interest in applying both aquaculture and rice-field pond techniques.

AMD’s field days proved successful in promoting knowledge sharing and encouraging the adoption of improved aquaculture and rice-field pond practices among Cambodian farmers. These practices have the potential to enhance food security, nutrition, and livelihoods, particularly in the context of climate change.

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