Climate change considered as flooding hits Cambodia

The wet season had come and gone with almost no rain.  Despite the best efforts of the farmers from Tralach commune, in Takeo province’s Traing district, widespread crop failures two years ago brought the community to the economic, and dietary, brink.

Rice paddies were parched beyond salvaging, said Oxfam spokesperson Brian Lund in a recent interview, adding that the dried mud was nearly too hot to stand on.

“Usually [the farmers] harvest the rice barefoot, but that year, for the first time, they had to wear shoes,” he said.

This week, farmers in Kratie province are facing the opposite problem. Read more of this post

Advertisements

PetroVietnam Fertiliser and Chemicals Co. launch its branch in Cambodia

PetroVietnam Fertiliser and Chemicals Joint Stock Company, one of the largest firms traded on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, has officially launched its first Cambodian branch. The company had been operating a representative office in the Kingdom since last May, but aimed to expand its services to domestic farmers with the new branch. Read more of this post

ADB helps $4 million to boost biomass use in Greater Mekong Subregion

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is to help the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) scale up the use of biomass waste in the agriculture sector to meet its growing need for clean energy and food security for poor rural households, the media release from ADB said on Monday.

The ADB Board of Directors has approved a regional technical assistance project that will be funded by a $4 million grant from the Nordic Development Fund along with counterpart financing of $600,000 from the governments of Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Viet Nam. Read more of this post

Despite some efforts, forests continue to decrease

Cambodia’s woodlands are seeing continued deforestation, despite a plan by the government to curb illegal logging, environmental groups say.

Authorities say they have a plan to protect the forest, but non-governmental groups say the problem persists, including through an increase in land concessions, and massive illegal logging by the military.

Cambodia has an official strategy to protect the forests over the next 18 years, including land management practices and tighter governmental controls over still exiting forests. Experts say as little as 30 percent of the country’s forest cover remains, while logging continues to be a problem. Read more of this post

Cambodia begins to attract money

Cambodia, once regarded as a spill-over investment from Vietnam, is showing signs of standing on its own feet as frontier funds start to produce strong returns.

Frontier investors such as Leopard Capital – a private equity fund which launched a potential $100m Cambodia-focused fund in 2008 only to close with $34m – is now finding renewed interest in the country, holding the door open as other regional funds begin to sense an opportunity.

Vietnam’s largest asset manager, Vinacapital Investment Management, in January announced it would be expanding into Cambodia with a pledge to invest $100m, launching a dedicated fund targeting real estate, infrastructure, hospitality and agriculture investments. Read more of this post

Cambodian economy involved in the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)

Cambodia’s environment minister said his country’s green growth plan is making fine progress in its implementation thanks to the help of Korea and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).

Minister Mok Mareth said activities with GGGI “strengthened environmental cooperation while pursuing sustainable economic growth, not only in Cambodia but also on a regional and a global scale to result in green growth through the exchange of ideas and experiences.” Read more of this post

Fallout from deforestation

In a 2010 report to the international Convention on Biological Diversity, Cambodia’s Ministry of the Environment presented a portrait of national biodiversity to make any taxonomist drool: 123 mammal species, 88 reptile species, 545 bird species, and more than 2,000 species of vascular plants. Further study has the potential to significantly increase these numbers.  

But as the impressive extent of Cambodian biodiversity slowly comes to light, it is also coming under increasing threat.   

Over the past decade, land concessions and luxury timber harvesting have reduced primary forest cover by 13,000 hectares, or 3.42 percent each year in Cambodia, according to a report released early this month by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation and the International Tropical Timber Organisation.  Read more of this post

Boosting rice yields (+ link to illustrative movie)

SRI Farming in Cambodia: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDQbdMOF0iU

Cambodia’s average rice yields sit below most regional neighbours, though experts say improved farming methods would assist with boosting harvests of the staple crop. 

The Centre for Study and Development in Agriculture introduced the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) growing methods to Cambodia in 2000 with the aim of increasing productivity of farmland, though some say take-up across the Kingdom has been slow.  Read more of this post

Update : New document on Agro Cambodia

Dear readers,

AgroCambodia informs you that new documents have been uploaded to the “Newsletter/Documents” and “Cambodia Background” pages:

Thank you for following Agro Cambodia website

Opposition asks Hun Sen to protect Prey Lang forest

The Sam Rainsy Party has sent a request to Prime Minister Hun Sen requesting that he cancel economic land concessions in Prey Lang forest, in the east of the country, where thousands are villagers say their livelihoods are under threat.

Nine SRP parliamentarians singled out more than 6,000 hectares in a concession to a Vietnamese company, CRCK, among others, and suggested the forest be listed as a Unesco World Heritage site.

Hun Sen approved a 70-year lease to CRCK in September 2009, clearing the way for a contract between the company and Ministry of Agriculture for the clearance of forest for a rubber plantation. Read more of this post