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Crop rotation between mango trees in combination with drip irrigation [Cambodia]

Organic vegetable

technologies_2236 - Cambodia

Completeness: 92%

1. General information

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

Key resource person(s)

land user:

Hour Pros

(+855) 97 69 14 569

Fb: Kraties' chicken farm (In Khmer) / Page: Mixed Green Community​ (In Khmer)


Saob Krom Village, Saob commune, Preaek Prasab District, Kratie Province


Acting Chief of District Office of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries,​ Preaek Prasab:
{'additional_translations': {}, 'value': 'Sivin Sak', 'user_id': '3635', 'unknown_user': False, 'template': 'raw'}
Commune Extension Worker at Saob commune office:

Sopheak Song

(+855) 97 94 23 388


Office of Saob commune, Preaek Prasab District, Kratie Province

Saob Krom Village, Saob commune, Preaek Prasab District, Kratie Province


Chief of District Office of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Sambo:
{'additional_translations': {}, 'value': 'Sivin Sak', 'user_id': '3635', 'unknown_user': False, 'template': 'raw'}
Official of District Office of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Chetr Borei :

Ly Saravuth

(+855) 89 796 786

Chetr Borei district office of agriculture, forestry and fisheries

Khsar Village, Dar commune, Chetr Borei District, Kratie Province


{'additional_translations': {}, 'value': 6, 'label': 'Name of project which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)', 'text': 'Scaling-up SLM practices by smallholder farmers (IFAD)', 'template': 'raw'} {'additional_translations': {}, 'value': 955, 'label': 'Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)', 'text': 'Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) - Cambodia', 'template': 'raw'}

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

When were the data compiled (in the field)?


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


1.4 Declaration on sustainability of the described Technology

Is the Technology described here problematic with regard to land degradation, so that it cannot be declared a sustainable land management technology?


2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

The rotational intercropping of vegetables between mango trees is a form of agroforestry. The technique aims to bear yield and income to the farmers when the trees do not bear fruit at young stage. Further purposes are the permanent soil cover which impede weed growth, reduces evaporation and soil erosion, and finally, in combination with drip irrigation it supports the adaptation to climate change.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology


Agroforestry is the practice of cultivating cash crops and/or the rearing of livestock on a plot of land together with growing trees such as fruit trees, coco trees, bamboo or other trees so as to improve agricultural output and gain other benefits (MoE et al., 2016). Agroforestry plays a vital role in providing ecological and economic benefits which include the harvest of timber and cash crops, improved soil fertility, reduced chemical fertilizer and pesticide input, reduced cost, better adaptation to climate change (MoE et al., 2016), as well as a reduced risk of crop failure (FA and DANIDA, 2005).

Mr. Hour is one of the farmers who shifted from monoculture to agroforestry. He is living with his family at Saob Krom Village, Saob Commune, Preaek Prasab District, Kratié Province (the northeastern province of Cambodia). On a hillside plot of 2100 square meters he has 135 mango trees planted in 9 rows with a space of 4 meters between each row and each tree. A number of different cash crops are intercropped in rotation between the rows of the mango trees which include amongst others: cucumbers, morning glory, cabbages and lettuce. The mango trees are cultivated after the land has been plowed and allowed to dry for 15 days. A dimension 0.5 meter of four-size hole with 0.5 meter deep is dug for each tree into which a 2 to 3kg mixture of cow manure, husk rice and bran that has been allowed to mature for 15 days is added. The farmer makes use of a drip irrigation system which extends to each tree and runs along the rows of the cash crops. The vegetable rows are prepared according to the season, as in the dry season ridge of the rows are 10 cm and in the rainy season they are 20 cm so as to prevent the vegetables being damaged by excessive amounts of water. Moreover, this technique does not cost much and generates income when the long-term crop is not yet ready to bear fruit. Additionally there are no negative impacts on the environment because the farmer applies liquid compost and bio-extract pesticide that he has produced on his own. The liquid compost is made up of a mixture of fish residue, bran and palm sugar mixed with water, which is then allowed to mature for around 15 days before it can be used. Meanwhile, the bio-pesticide is extracted from strong-smelling and bitter trees such as strychnine plants, yellow cheesewood, neem, boraphed and galangal. The materials are chopped into small pieces and mixed with palm sugar and water, which is then allowed to settle for at least 15 days before it is ready to be applied. In order to spray the crops, a liter of the liquid pesticide should be mixed with 25 liters of water.

All in all, this form of agroforestry brings a wide range of benefits. With this system, the farmer is able to generate an income from the different cash crops which can be harvested in both dry and rainy seasons especially in the first three years of the mango tree’s life when they are still unproductive. It therefore helps to reduce the financial burden of running the whole farm. This technique also helps to regulate the local micro-climate with the shade provided by the mango trees, reduces evaporation and soil erosion, as well as adapts to drought conditions that have been brought on by climate change. Moreover, this practice avoids leaving a space between the trees that would otherwise enable the growth of unwanted weeds, which could also become a habitat for insects and the outbreak of diseases that lead to economic loss.

At first sight it may be a disadvantage that at the beginning the farmer has to raise a lot of money in order to install the drip irrigation system for example. However, once installed the system can last for many years which reduces labor costs related to irrigation. Regarding the cash crops the farmer also faces the challenge of unstable market prices. But if the prices are good and stable, the farmer is able to generate substantial income to improve the family’s livelihood. Therefore, the institutions in charge need to take into account the market forces, too.

2.3 Photos of the Technology

2.4 Videos of the Technology

Comments, short description:


Name of videographer:


2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Technology has been applied and which are covered by this assessment



Region/ State/ Province:

Saob Krom Village, Saob commune, Preaek Prasab District, Kratie Province

2.6 Date of implementation

Indicate year of implementation:


2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • through projects/ external interventions
Comments (type of project, etc.):

Technical Assistance from Agriculture Services Programme for Innovation, Resilience and Extension (ASPIRE)

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • improve production
  • create beneficial economic impact

3.2 Current land use type(s) where the Technology is applied

Mixed (crops/ grazing/ trees), incl. agroforestry

Mixed (crops/ grazing/ trees), incl. agroforestry

  • Agroforestry
Main products/ services:

Mango, cucumber, herbage vegetables, long bean and lettuce.

If land use has changed due to the implementation of the Technology, indicate land use before implementation of the Technology:

Before it was degraded forest land with low fertility.

3.3 Further information about land use

Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
  • mixed rainfed-irrigated

Using water from Sre Ngeat dam near the farm.

Number of growing seasons per year:
  • 1

Long term crops with other short term crops during the time when mangos do not provide benefit.

3.4 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • rotational systems (crop rotation, fallows, shifting cultivation)
  • improved ground/ vegetation cover
  • irrigation management (incl. water supply, drainage)

3.5 Spread of the Technology

Specify the spread of the Technology:
  • evenly spread over an area
If the Technology is evenly spread over an area, indicate approximate area covered:
  • < 0.1 km2 (10 ha)

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

agronomic measures

agronomic measures

  • A1: Vegetation/ soil cover
structural measures

structural measures

  • S7: Water harvesting/ supply/ irrigation equipment

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

soil erosion by water

soil erosion by water

  • Wt: loss of topsoil/ surface erosion
chemical soil deterioration

chemical soil deterioration

  • Cn: fertility decline and reduced organic matter content (not caused by erosion)
biological degradation

biological degradation

  • Bc: reduction of vegetation cover

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • reduce land degradation
  • restore/ rehabilitate severely degraded land

Against seasonal water he can cultivate crops that help prevent excessive surface run off.
Before it was severely degraded forest land.

4. Technical specifications, implementation activities, inputs, and costs

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

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Ms. Kongkea So and Mr. Sophea Tim



4.2 Technical specifications/ explanations of technical drawing

This practice is applied on a plot of 2100 square meters ( width 35 meters x length 60 meters) situated on the hillside. It contains 135 mango trees (in 9 rows with the space of 4 meters between each row and tree) and a number of different cash crops grown in rotation among others: cucumber, morning glory, cabbage and lettuce. Drip irrigation system is spread to each tree and along cash row of the crops.

4.3 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

Specify how costs and inputs were calculated:
  • per Technology area
Indicate size and area unit:

2100 square meters

other/ national currency (specify):


Indicate exchange rate from USD to local currency (if relevant): 1 USD =:


Indicate average wage cost of hired labour per day:

20000 Riel

4.4 Establishment activities

Activity Type of measure Timing
1. Plow and dry the land Agronomic April
2. Mango nursery Agronomic April
3. Dig holes, prepare pipe system Structural April
4. Prepare biotic pesticide and fertilizer Other measures April
5. Mango plantation Agronomic April
6. Prepare soil and ridge of the rows for vegetable Agronomic April

4.5 Costs and inputs needed for establishment

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Plowing and raking person-day 3.0 20000.0 60000.0 100.0
Labour Digging the holes person-day 5.4 20000.0 108000.0 100.0
Equipment Drip irrigation system Set 1.0 800000.0 800000.0 100.0
Equipment Filter piece 1.0 120000.0 120000.0 100.0
Equipment Spade piece 2.0 15000.0 30000.0 100.0
Equipment Two-wheel tractor piece 1.0 4800000.0 4800000.0 100.0
Plant material Mango trees trees 135.0 5000.0 675000.0 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides Fish fertilizer Liter 200.0 300.0 60000.0 100.0
Construction material Net Piece 18.0 15000.0 270000.0 100.0
Construction material Bamboo trellising Total 1.0 100000.0 100000.0 100.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 7023000.0

Regarding the cost item “Digging the holes”, the farmer indicated cost of 800 Riel for one hole (800*135 holes = 108000). In the table these costs are indicated in person-days.

4.6 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Type of measure Timing/ frequency
1. Vegetable nursery Agronomic April
2. Vegetable transplanting Agronomic April
3. Do the trellising Other measures April
4. Weeding Agronomic First 10 days
5. Spray biotic pesticide Agronomic When pest existing
6. Changing pipes Other measures When broken

4.7 Costs and inputs needed for maintenance/ recurrent activities (per year)

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Prepare soil and ridge of the rows for vegetable person-day 3.0 20000.0 60000.0 100.0
Labour Vegetable transplanting person-day 2.0 20000.0 40000.0 100.0
Labour Weeding person-day 9.0 20000.0 180000.0 100.0
Labour Spray biotic pesticide person-day 1.0 20000.0 20000.0 100.0
Equipment Pipe Piece 3.0 100000.0 300000.0 100.0
Plant material Cucumber seed pack 4.0 10000.0 40000.0 100.0
Plant material Long bean pack 1.0 3500.0 3500.0 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides Bio-pesticide liter 20.0 2000.0 40000.0 100.0
Other Changing pipes person-day 1.0 20000.0 20000.0 100.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 703500.0
If land user bore less than 100% of costs, indicate who covered the remaining costs:



Maintenance activities for the vegetable costs are calculated only for 3 months, as it depends the on crop's life cycle.

4.8 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

The costs for the pipe system are high.

5. Natural and human environment

5.1 Climate

Annual rainfall
  • < 250 mm
  • 251-500 mm
  • 501-750 mm
  • 751-1,000 mm
  • 1,001-1,500 mm
  • 1,501-2,000 mm
  • 2,001-3,000 mm
  • 3,001-4,000 mm
  • > 4,000 mm
Specify average annual rainfall (if known), in mm:


Specifications/ comments on rainfall:

The average annual rainfall in 2015 is 1138.2 mm, in 2014 is 1696.5 mm in 2013 is 1661.8 mm.

Indicate the name of the reference meteorological station considered:

Department of Meteorology, Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology (2015)

Agro-climatic zone
  • sub-humid

There are two distinct seasons: dry season and rainy season.

5.2 Topography

Slopes on average:
  • flat (0-2%)
  • gentle (3-5%)
  • moderate (6-10%)
  • rolling (11-15%)
  • hilly (16-30%)
  • steep (31-60%)
  • very steep (>60%)
  • plateau/plains
  • ridges
  • mountain slopes
  • hill slopes
  • footslopes
  • valley floors
Altitudinal zone:
  • 0-100 m a.s.l.
  • 101-500 m a.s.l.
  • 501-1,000 m a.s.l.
  • 1,001-1,500 m a.s.l.
  • 1,501-2,000 m a.s.l.
  • 2,001-2,500 m a.s.l.
  • 2,501-3,000 m a.s.l.
  • 3,001-4,000 m a.s.l.
  • > 4,000 m a.s.l.
Indicate if the Technology is specifically applied in:
  • not relevant

5.3 Soils

Soil depth on average:
  • very shallow (0-20 cm)
  • shallow (21-50 cm)
  • moderately deep (51-80 cm)
  • deep (81-120 cm)
  • very deep (> 120 cm)
Soil texture (topsoil):
  • coarse/ light (sandy)
Soil texture (> 20 cm below surface):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • high (>3%)
If available, attach full soil description or specify the available information, e.g. soil type, soil PH/ acidity, Cation Exchange Capacity, nitrogen, salinity etc.

The soil contains a lot of gravel and sand.

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

5-50 m

Availability of surface water:


Water quality (untreated):

for agricultural use only (irrigation)

Is water salinity a problem?


Is flooding of the area occurring?


Comments and further specifications on water quality and quantity:

Receive water from the nearby natural stream.

5.5 Biodiversity

Species diversity:
  • low
Habitat diversity:
  • low

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Sedentary or nomadic:
  • Sedentary
Market orientation of production system:
  • commercial/ market
Off-farm income:
  • 10-50% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • average
Individuals or groups:
  • individual/ household
Level of mechanization:
  • manual work
  • mechanized/ motorized
  • men
Age of land users:
  • middle-aged

5.7 Average area of land owned or leased by land users applying the Technology

  • < 0.5 ha
  • 0.5-1 ha
  • 1-2 ha
  • 2-5 ha
  • 5-15 ha
  • 15-50 ha
  • 50-100 ha
  • 100-500 ha
  • 500-1,000 ha
  • 1,000-10,000 ha
  • > 10,000 ha
Is this considered small-, medium- or large-scale (referring to local context)?
  • medium-scale

Medium scale because he has 30 hectares and other land users have more than 50 hectares of land.

5.8 Land ownership, land use rights, and water use rights

Land ownership:
  • individual, titled
  • Clear degraded forest
Land use rights:
  • individual
Water use rights:
  • individual

5.9 Access to services and infrastructure

  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
technical assistance:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
employment (e.g. off-farm):
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
roads and transport:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
drinking water and sanitation:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
financial services:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts


crop production

Comments/ specify:

Due to the fact that he cultivates more crops than before on the same plot, the production increased. The farmer can continuously harvest because there are long-term crops and annual crops.

risk of production failure

Comments/ specify:

As long-term and short-term crops are cultivated now, the risk of failure has been reduced.

product diversity

Comments/ specify:

By thismixed system more than one crop variety is cultivated now.

production area

Comments/ specify:

The former land was degraded forest land, now he is able to cultivate it by this SLM technology.

land management

Comments/ specify:

He cultivates more crops and using only organic fertilizer and botanical pesticide that is produced by himself.

Income and costs

expenses on agricultural inputs

Comments/ specify:

Now he doesn’t have to buy chemical fertilizers anymore and he tries whenever possible to use biological pesticide produced by himself.

farm income

Comments/ specify:

He gets income now all year round, because of the compination of short-term and long-term cultivation.

diversity of income sources

Comments/ specify:

As more than one crop is cultivated on the plot, the diversity of income increased slightly.


Comments/ specify:

The good soil cover by intercrops prevents the weed growing and reduces the workload for weeding.

Socio-cultural impacts

food security/ self-sufficiency

Comments/ specify:

As he cultivates more crops than before, the food security increased.

health situation

Comments/ specify:

There is less environmental pollution as he uses organic fertilizers and biological pesticides. Thus, the health situation improved.

SLM/ land degradation knowledge

Comments/ specify:

His knowledge regarding this technology has been improved due to experience and internet documents or videos.

Ecological impacts


soil moisture

Comments/ specify:

More crops cover induces less soil evaporation.

soil cover

Comments/ specify:

Due to the vegetable intercropping the soil cover improved.

soil compaction

Comments/ specify:

The roots of the mango trees are very good against soil compaction.

Biodiversity: vegetation, animals

Vegetation cover

Comments/ specify:

Due to permanent crop cover all over the year.

invasive alien species

Comments/ specify:

Invasive alien species are reduced due to crop rotation and biologial pesticide application.

beneficial species

Comments/ specify:

Beneficial species are increased because of liquid compost using.

pest/ disease control

Comments/ specify:

The own-produced bio pesticides are very effective.

6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

Comments regarding impact assessment:

There are no noticeable off-site impacts.

6.3 Exposure and sensitivity of the Technology to gradual climate change and climate-related extremes/ disasters (as perceived by land users)

Gradual climate change

Gradual climate change
Season Type of climatic change/ extreme How does the Technology cope with it?
annual temperature increase well
seasonal temperature wet/ rainy season increase well
seasonal temperature dry season increase well
annual rainfall decrease moderately
seasonal rainfall wet/ rainy season increase well
other gradual climate change The rain is changed because it doesn't rain until July.

Climate-related extremes (disasters)

Meteorological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
local rainstorm moderately
Climatological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
heatwave not well
cold wave well
extreme winter conditions moderately
Biological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
epidemic diseases well
insect/ worm infestation well

Other climate-related consequences

Other climate-related consequences
How does the Technology cope with it?
There is no problems because it has water sources and irrigation systems.

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

How do the benefits compare with the establishment costs (from land users’ perspective)?
Short-term returns:


Long-term returns:


How do the benefits compare with the maintenance/ recurrent costs (from land users' perspective)?
Short-term returns:


Long-term returns:

very positive

6.5 Adoption of the Technology

  • single cases/ experimental
Of all those who have adopted the Technology, how many have did so spontaneously, i.e. without receiving any material incentives/ payments?
  • 90-100%

Because not much maintenance labour is required.

6.6 Adaptation

Has the Technology been modified recently to adapt to changing conditions?


6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
Less labor is required due to the use of the drip irrigation system.
Various products which makes it easier to respond to the demands of the market.
Efficient use of land which does not allow grass growing.
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
Less labor is required because the drip irrigation system is used to water the crops and to apply fertilizer.
An environmentally friendly technology without any use of machines and in consequence fuel for irrigation by using ram pump.
A good soil management technique that enables interactive benefits among crops and trees.
Improves the soil's fertility as various cover crops are rotated.

6.8 Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks of the Technology and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
Lack of financial capital. Access funds from micro finance firms at low interest rate, or supports from project and the state.
Unstable market price. Forming farmer groups and seek for support from NGOs and/or institutions in charge.
Cover a large expense at the beginning in order to install the drip irrigation system. Susidies from projects, relevant NGOs and government.
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
When mango trees growth up and branches spread out, he could not plant anymore these kinds of vegetable (cucumber, morning glory, etc), as they need light. Plant other crops that do not need much light and are resistant to shade.

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • field visits, field surveys

A place

  • interviews with land users

A person

  • interviews with SLM specialists/ experts

4 people

7.2 References to available publications

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Yang S. and Pean S. (2012) Organic fertilizer: Technology principle and farmer experiences. Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture: Phnom Penh. (In Khmer)

Available from where? Costs?

CEDAC and price is about 10000riel

Title, author, year, ISBN:

FA and DANIDA (2005). Guidelines for Site Selection and Tree Planting in Cambodia. Forestry Administration. Retrieved on May 15 2017 from

Available from where? Costs?

Title, author, year, ISBN:

MoE, Adaptation Fund and UNEP (2016). Agroforestry System: “Enhancing Climate Change Resilience of Rural Communities Living in Protected Areas in Cambodia”. Ministry of Environment.

Links and modules

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