Approaches

Model farmer [Cambodia]

approaches_2498 - Cambodia

Completeness: 92%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Approach

Key resource person(s)

SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:

Say Mesa

Society for Community Development in Cambodia

Cambodia

SLM specialist:

Bin Sreytouch

Society for Community Development in Cambodia

Cambodia

SLM specialist:

Khun Lean Hak

SOFDEC/LAREC

Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Approach (if relevant)
Local Agricultural Research and Extension Centre (LAREC) - Cambodia
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Approach (if relevant)
Society for Community Development in Cambodia (SOFDEC) - Cambodia
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Approach (if relevant)
CDE Centre for Development and Environment (CDE Centre for Development and Environment) - Switzerland

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

When were the data compiled (in the field)?

25/06/2014

The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:

Ja

1.4 Reference(s) to Questionnaire(s) on SLM Technologies

2. Description of the SLM Approach

2.1 Short description of the Approach

Model farms were introduced by a NGO in order to spread knowledge about SLM (compost, System of Rice Intensification SRI, and other technologies) in the project area.

2.2 Detailed description of the Approach

Detailed description of the Approach:

Aims / objectives: Model farms were introduced to Kampong Chhnang Province in order to spread knowledge about SLM Technologies.

Methods: The Approach focuses on various areas of farming, and the model farms are clustered into 4 groups:

1. Compost and System of Rice Intensification focus on rice productivity and soil improvement.
2. SLT (Seasonal Long Training) – growing techniques for different crops, seedling germination, care taking, harvesting, etc.
3. INTEREST – focus on different crops which are mixed, crop rotation (rice-watermelon-corn, e.g.), mulching, cover cropping.
4. Cow raising model farmers – focus on fodder production, vaccination, supplementary feed for the cows, stable construction.
In this case study, the model farmer applies the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) and compost (cluster 1).

Stages of implementation: Becoming a model farmer consists of different steps. First, different land users who dispose of the required inputs (certain amount of land, labour availability, motivation for innovation) are invited to a training organized by a local NGO. After the training, the model farmers are chosen amongst the participating land users. These newly elected model farmers get further training from the NGO. While implementing the selected Technologies (in this case SRI and compost), the model farmers are subsidized and monitored by the NGO.

Role of stakeholders: The role of the stakeholders is both active and passive. While they are invited to the initial training provided by the local NGO (passive), the land users decide - once they're selected as model farmers - by themselves which Technologies they want to apply on their fields (active).

Other important information: The benefits of this Approach are manifold. Firstly, it helps spreading knowledge about sustainable land management in the project area. In the case of Cambodia this is especially important since much of the agricultural knowledge was lost during the Khmer Rouge regime (1975-1979). Furthermore, the soils in the project area are sandy and show a low fertility. Therefore for example compost making can have a positive long term impact on both the natural and the human wellbeing. Secondly, model farmers can have a positive impact on local institutions. It is for example possible for the farmers to give a report to local authorities where they state what the villagers need most. Furthermore, model farmers can become members of NGOs or local authorities, or monitor other farmers in their activities.
The main disadvantage of the Approach is the problem of sustainability. Model farmers are in close cooperation with the local NGO, and if the NGO stops the coaching, it is not ensured that the implemented Technologies will continue. This is illustrated by many abandoned compost houses in the area. Also, the interviewed model famer expressed that since she became a model farmer, there is more work to do. This can be detrimental in an environment where a high migration rate decreases the available labour force. Last but not least the decision about which Technologies are to be applied on the given model farms are mainly taken by the SLM specialists working for the local NGO. If land users were more involved in the decision-making process, this might have a positive long term impact on the farmers motivation to continue applying the chosen Technologies independently (sustainability).

2.3 Photos of the Approach

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Approach has been applied

Country:

Cambodia

Region/ State/ Province:

Kampong Chhnang

Further specification of location:

Rolear Pha-er

Comments:

For one model farmer, there are approximately 5 other farmers who copy the technologies

2.6 Dates of initiation and termination of the Approach

Indicate year of initiation:

2006

2.7 Type of Approach

  • project/ programme based

2.8 Main aims/ objectives of the Approach

The Approach focused on SLM only

On one hand, land users learn about new technologies (e.g. compost, SRI) which have a positive impact on the yields, the soil fertility and in consequence on the income. On the other hand, model farmers are enabled to show these technologies to other land users (knowledge sharing) so these technologies can be spread in the area. One way to share the knowledge are farmer field days where other land users visit the model farms.

The SLM Approach addressed the following problems: Lack of technical knowledge, low agricultural production, low soil fertility.

2.9 Conditions enabling or hindering implementation of the Technology/ Technologies applied under the Approach

legal framework (land tenure, land and water use rights)
  • enabling

The current situation of land use rights and ownership is rather complicated since there are different perceptions coexisting. Therefore, no concluding statement about the influence of this situation on the implementation of model farms can be made.

  • hindering

The process of formalizing land use rights in Cambodia is slow. No relationship between this Approach and land use rights.

knowledge about SLM, access to technical support
  • hindering

Other farmers did not have technical knowledge about the technologies

Treatment through the SLM Approach: Farmers could learn from the model farmer, monitoring can help to maintain the best practices.

3. Participation and roles of stakeholders involved

3.1 Stakeholders involved in the Approach and their roles

  • local land users/ local communities

Model farms were installed on existing farms.

The involvement of socially and economically disadvantaged group is indirect. They are not selected as model farmers since they don’t have the necessary inputs. However they can benefit from farmer field days or from talking to a model farmer in order to learn about the new technologies.

  • SLM specialists/ agricultural advisers
  • NGO

Society for Community Development in Cambodia SOFDEC

  • local government

The Provincial Department of Agriculture PDA was informed about the approach by SOFDEC.

  • national government (planners, decision-makers)

At local level, passive

3.2 Involvement of local land users/ local communities in the different phases of the Approach
Involvement of local land users/ local communities Specify who was involved and describe activities
initiation/ motivation passive The land user attended a workshop organized by SOFDEC/LAREC where he was selected as model farmer. This workshop took place more than 10 years ago.
planning interactive Farmer plans implementation of compost and SRI
implementation external support Money from SOFDEC for compost, 15 USD (in-kind contribution by farmer, e.g. labour, some material (wooden pole) and own money to buy cement, iron roof). Training for compost and SRI. SRI field day.
monitoring/ evaluation passive Coaching by SOFDEC
Research none Research is carried out by LAREC and the results, such as new rice varieties, and brought to the model farmer by SOFDEC.

3.3 Flow chart (if available)

Description:

HEKS Switzerland funded the Society for Community Development in Cambodia (SOFDEC), and they support this organisation financially. SOFDEC then funded a research centre on sustainable land management and crops (LAREC) which also maintains an extension service. Together with other local SLM specialists, SOFDEC initiated model farms.

Author:

Stefan Graf (Centre for Development and Environment)

3.4 Decision-making on the selection of SLM Technology/ Technologies

Specify who decided on the selection of the Technology/ Technologies to be implemented:
  • mainly SLM specialists, following consultation with land users
Explain:

Decisions on the method of implementing the SLM Technology were made by mainly by SLM specialists with consultation of land users

4. Technical support, capacity building, and knowledge management

4.1 Capacity building/ training

Was training provided to land users/ other stakeholders?

Ja

Specify who was trained:
  • land users
Form of training:
  • on-the-job
  • courses
Subjects covered:

compost making and on the different steps necessary to implement SRI. The training included both theoretical seminars and on-the-job training.

4.2 Advisory service

Do land users have access to an advisory service?

Ja

Specify whether advisory service is provided:
  • on land users' fields
Describe/ comments:

Name of method used for advisory service: Advisory service; Key elements: The Provincial Department of Agriculture delivers some trainings to the farmers in collaboration with SOFDEC , SLM specialists from SOFDEC can get data from the Provincial Department of Agriculture

Advisory service is quite adequate to ensure the continuation of land conservation activities; The involvement of the Provincial Department of Agriculture is supplementary to SOFDEC’s work. Therefore, the land conservation activities could also continue without this advisory service.

4.3 Institution strengthening (organizational development)

Have institutions been established or strengthened through the Approach?
  • yes, moderately
Specify the level(s) at which institutions have been strengthened or established:
  • local
Specify type of support:
  • capacity building/ training
  • decision making
Give further details:

It is possible that model farmers are enabled to influence local institutions through different ways. One possibility is that model farmers can give a report to the village chief and he can give the data to the commune chief. This is a way how the model farmer might influence the decision making within the village. Also, a model farmer can prepare a proposal to the commune chief where he states what the land users need the most (e.g. seeds).
The model farmers can also become facilitators for training other land users on new SLM technologies. Furthermore, the model farmers might be approached by other NGOs or projects to deliver trainings for them, or they might become members of local institutions such as the community council, or join a NGO. It is also possible for model farmers to take part in competitions organized either by NGOs (such as the Excellent Farmer Award) or the Provincial Department of Agriculture.

4.4 Monitoring and evaluation

Is monitoring and evaluation part of the Approach?

Ja

Comments:

Technical aspects were regular monitored by project staff, land users through observations; indicators: Training about how to do the Technology (for SRI and compost only once). Changes in the Technology, challenges for applying the Technology.
Economic / production aspects were regular monitored by project staff through measurements; indicators: Yields. SRI: Tillers per plant on 1 m2.
Management of Approach aspects were regular monitored by project staff through observations; indicators: SOFDEC trains the farmers how they can monitor other farmers.
There were no changes in the Approach as a result of monitoring and evaluation
There were few changes in the Technology as a result of monitoring and evaluation: Some Technologies, such as SRI, have been changed considerably since they have first been implemented. However, these changes were not done because of the monitoring, but because of other factors (lack of labour availability, feasibility, etc.).

4.5 Research

Was research part of the Approach?

Ja

Specify topics:
  • technology
Give further details and indicate who did the research:

Research is carried out by the Local Agriculture Research and Extension Centre LAREC. LAREC focus their research on different rice varieties (drought resistant, short breeding), and other plants which could be grown in the area (e.g. mung bean, pumpkin, water melon, stylo grass, etc.). The research is influenced by the demands of land users in the target area.

Research was carried out on station

5. Financing and external material support

5.1 Annual budget for the SLM component of the Approach

If precise annual budget is not known, indicate range:
  • 10,000-100,000
Comments (e.g. main sources of funding/ major donors):

Approach costs were met by the following donors: national non-government (SOFDEC, provides money for compost house and training.): 30.0%; local community / land user(s) (In-kind/money contribution by farmer for compost only): 70.0%

Both model farmers and regular farmers are supported within this project, with total costs of around 20,000$. However, not all of the supported farmers are model farmers. In total, there are 64 model farmers within this project, and we calculated expenditures of about 350 US$ per model farmer.

5.2 Financial/ material support provided to land users

Did land users receive financial/ material support for implementing the Technology/ Technologies?

Geen

5.3 Subsidies for specific inputs (including labour)

  • agricultural
Specify which inputs were subsidised To which extent Specify subsidies
seeds partly financed
  • construction
Specify which inputs were subsidised To which extent Specify subsidies
Brick and cement partly financed
If labour by land users was a substantial input, was it:
  • voluntary
Comments:

The land users get also 15 USD for compost making

5.4 Credit

Was credit provided under the Approach for SLM activities?

Geen

6. Impact analysis and concluding statements

6.1 Impacts of the Approach

Did the Approach help land users to implement and maintain SLM Technologies?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Compost has a positive impact on the soil, which results in increased production. However, due to a lack of organic matter to make compost with, the land users still use chemical fertilizer in order to increase the rice yields. As for SRI, the yields can be increased while less seeds are used. Also, the use of compost improves soil fertility. However, this Technology needs more labour input, which results in an adaptation of the Technology by the farmer (Technology is only partly carried out as intended by the SLM specialists, and each farmer does it a bit differently).

Did the Approach empower socially and economically disadvantaged groups?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

In this area, wealth is usually linked to the amount of land a land user can work on. Poorer farmers that live in the neighbourhood of model farmers can copy the newly implemented technologies and benefit from their positive impacts. However, the likelihood that other farmers implement new technologies depends largely on their complexity and the required inputs. Some technologies are therefore easier and more likely to be implemented by socially and economically disadvantaged groups.

Did the Approach improve issues of land tenure/ user rights that hindered implementation of SLM Technologies?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

No relationship between this Approach and land use rights. The problem is unlikely to be overcome in the near future. The process of formalizing land use rights in Cambodia is slow.

Did other land users / projects adopt the Approach?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly
Did the Approach lead to improved livelihoods / human well-being?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Through the use of compost, costs to buy chemical fertilizer were reduced. Also the combination of compost and chemical fertilizer led to higher rice yields, the surplus can be sold. For SRI, less rice seeds are needed (lower costs).

Did the Approach help to alleviate poverty?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

The surplus from higher yields can be sold. Also, SRI requires less seeds and if compost can be implemented (depends if the land user owns cattle or not, and some poor land users don’t own any cattle), the expenses for chemical fertilizers can be reduced.

6.2 Main motivation of land users to implement SLM

  • increased production

New varieties and new Technologies contribute to higher yields.

  • environmental consciousness

The farmer collects remaining material (manure) in the fields and backyards, so they are 'cleaner'

  • well-being and livelihoods improvement

Higher yields.

6.3 Sustainability of Approach activities

Can the land users sustain what has been implemented through the Approach (without external support)?
  • yes
If yes, describe how:

The land user of this case study is not subsidized any more, but she still continues with the technologies. However, the continuation of the activities depends largely on the personal motivation and the available resources (labour force). Some land users do not continue with compost once they are not monitored anymore.

6.4 Strengths/ advantages of the Approach

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
It is good that model farmer are selected in the village since other farmers can learn from them. (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: Model farmers have to lobby with village leader, commune authority and with the NGO to link them with other organisations and Governmental Agencies. )
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
SLM Technology can be tested in-situ. (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: More innovative technologies could be tested in collaboration with farmers. )
Community sense between the farms is strengthened. (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: Community councils could be created. )
Model farmers are like a bridge between the NGO and other farmers. Projects from NGOs can be carried out more effectively. (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: Create a proper mechanism between the model farmers, the village and commune authorities, and the NGO in order to ensure the sustainability of the model farmer approach beyond the NGOs involvement. )
Other farmers can learn SLM technologies without being directly trained by the NGO (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: Continue with the Approach and seek support from village authorities. )

6.5 Weaknesses/ disadvantages of the Approach and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
The NGO and external people/farmers put workload on model farmers. Provide compensation to model farmer, show him the benefits of these new Technologies, enable him to participate in local decision making processes.
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
Some Technologies are abandoned once there is no more support from the NGO. Include long-term monitoring. Also, this monitoring can be carried out by the model farmers or other farmers in the village.
The suggested Technologies require more work and are sometimes counter-intuitive to the model farmers (e.g. SRI). Provide compensation to model farmer, show him the benefits of these new Technologies, enable him to participate in local decision-making processes.
The approach is not really participatory since the specialist decide which technologies should be implemented. First consult the farmers about their needs. Also, include the farmers in case they know about innovative Technologies.

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • field visits, field surveys
  • interviews with land users

7.3 Links to relevant information which is available online

Title/ description:

SOFDEC

URL:

www.sofdec.org

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