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Cambodian Agricultural Research Center Honored

Dr.Yang Saing Koma is the President of Cedac.
Dr.Yang Saing Koma is the President of Cedac.
WASHINGTON DC - The Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture has been recognized for its contributions to Cambodians by the a group of experts at Food Tank.

The US-based think tank said the center, known in Cambodia as Cedac, was responsible for higher yields in Cambodian agriculture production through its research. It put Cedac on a list of countries that are improving the global food system.

Cedac works through a network of farmers to apply what is called the System of Rice Intensification, which seeks to boost yields while reducing the use of chemicals. It also supports ecological chicken farming, pig raising, home gardening, aquaculture, composting, and multi-purpose farming.

These and other initiatives have moved Cambodia from a country that was once dependent on aid for food security to one of surplus.

Yang Saing Koma, Cedac’s president, told VOA Khmer that many of these changes come from the System of Rice Intensification. Cedac teaches farmers to divide their land into small plots to produce rice for eating and for supplying markets, as well as raising poultry. It has worked with 100,000 households since 1997, he said.

In the past, 80 percent of its members did not have sufficient rice to eat for three months of the year, he said. Now, they are able to supply some 50,000 tons of rice to the markets annually.

“We have gained a lot of success in our efforts to connect farmers to the market,” he said. “We have received support from our clients both inside and outside of Cambodia, especially the US, which has increased its demand for our rice.”