Improved orchard with an integrated farming system [Cambodia]

Oun Chamkar Kroch

technologies_2263 - Cambodia

Completeness: 88%

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:

Keat Chetana

Land User


Chief of District Office of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Sambour:
Acting Chief of District Office of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Prek Prasab:
Official of District Office of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Chetr Borei:

Ly Saravuth

District Office of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Chetr Borei.


Name of project which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Scaling-up SLM practices by smallholder farmers (IFAD)
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) - Cambodia

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

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?



This practice mainly focus on the use of natural manure, including pig, cow and chicken manure as organic fertilizers and drip irrigation system to reduce water consumption on the crops.

2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

The integrated farming system (IFS) includes basically the mixture of different farming components like crops, fruit tree cultivation, fish and livestock husbandry on the same farm plot. IFS help significantly to improve soil quality and crop production by using a minimum of external agricultural inputs.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology


Growing fruit trees is commonly practiced by Cambodian farmers, and there are different types of crops throughout the country. An integrated farming system is first of all an agricultural practice on a particular plot of land where crops, as well as livestock (pigs, and chickens), and fish are raised. The main purpose is to support and meet the farmers’ need in getting more benefits and at the same time to promote ecological balance in the region. The integration of all, crop production, fish and livestock, is a simple mixture that has been applied by most farmers. The case study here picks out one particular farmer who applied this technology on his orchard, in an area of less fertile soil. This soil bear normally lower yields e.g. also in fruit tree cultivation. The farmer grew four types of fruit trees within his orchard, which included 150 pomelo trees, 25 mango trees, 11 tamarind trees and 10 lemon trees. Furthermore he raised fish and livestock on his plot, both with the aim of improving the soil condition to get better yield and crop quality. The mixture of different farming components and the resources recycling within the orchard reduced the use of external agricultural inputs and led him to nearly closed material cycle on his farm. By this, he supports to a more balanced ecosystem in the farm surroundings. At the same time he became more resilient to climate change impacts. However it took the farmer several years to rehabilitate the soil conditions by applying this kind of integrated farming system.

On the 8,400 square meter plot, the farmer has established four ponds for irrigation and fish farming. The space between the pomelo and the lemon trees were 5 m. The mango and tamarind trees were grown along the ponds and the fence with a space of five meter shaped in square. The main product was pomelo; besides this, the farmer has also raised 11 pigs and 100 chickens placed in separate cages to avoid outbreaks of disease. In order to promote the growth of his fruit trees, he applied manure from his pigs, cow dung and chickens. The ground around the trees was covered by rice straw to improve the soil moisture. In addition he had installed drip irrigation pipes to minimize the workload and to save water. For this kind of integrated farming system it is necessary to divide up the plots for the purpose of growing crops, livestock and fish farming; and these areas should interact within the farm.

The farmer gains a large number of benefits from the integrated farming in terms of household consumption and income. It also helps to regulate the natural environment by providing windstorm protection. Another purpose is not to use chemical fertilizer by using manure from livestock. And finally, Pomelo represents an important income source for the farmers and it has a strong market demand. It can be harvested twice a year; From the fourth year of cultivation the yield of one pomelo tree is about 70 to 200 fruits depending on its size ; per fruit the farmer gets about 6000 Riel (2017). The challenge of this technology is the considerable amount of time and money to for establish the technology. Anyway, the farmer expressed difficulties in raising capital to invest into the technology.

2.3 Photos of the Technology

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



Region/ State/ Province:

Kaeng Prasat village, Sambour Commune, Sambour District, Kratie Province

Further specification of location:

Rural area

Specify the spread of the Technology:
  • evenly spread over an area
If the Technology is evenly spread over an area, specify area covered (in km2):


If precise area is not known, indicate approximate area covered:
  • < 0.1 km2 (10 ha)

In 2006, the planted on 4480 square meter, and in 2010 he expanded by around 3920 square meter.

2.6 Date of implementation

Indicate year of implementation:


2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • through land users' innovation
  • during experiments/ research
Comments (type of project, etc.):

The farmer has practiced this technology based on his own experience and innovation. He was used to fail due to the high flood in 2014 when the orchard remained only around 20%.

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • improve production
  • reduce, prevent, restore land degradation
  • create beneficial economic impact

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

Land use mixed within the same land unit:


Specify mixed land use (crops/ grazing/ trees):
  • Agro-silvopastoralism



  • Tree and shrub cropping
Tree and shrub cropping - Specify crops:
  • mango, mangosteen, guava
  • citrus
  • sweet tamarind
Number of growing seasons per year:
  • 1

Havesting of pomelo: 2 times

Grazing land

Grazing land

Animal type:
  • poultry
  • swine





Pig and chicken, fish, pomelo, mango, sweet tamarind and lemons on same agricultural plot (Integrated Farming System)
Livestock density: 11 pigs, pig house is 42 square meter.

3.3 Has land use changed due to the implementation of the Technology?

Has land use changed due to the implementation of the Technology?
  • Yes (Please fill out the questions below with regard to the land use before implementation of the Technology)
Forest/ woodlands

Forest/ woodlands


Before, forest land was kept for a long time on this plot.

3.4 Water supply

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

When there is a lack of water, ponds are needed, as water from the river is to far away (0.5 km) and the water from the dam is even farer away (3km).

3.5 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • integrated crop-livestock management
  • integrated soil fertility management
  • irrigation management (incl. water supply, drainage)

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

agronomic measures

agronomic measures

  • A2: Organic matter/ soil fertility
structural measures

structural measures

  • S5: Dams, pans, ponds
  • S7: Water harvesting/ supply/ irrigation equipment
management measures

management measures

  • M1: Change of land use type
  • M6: Waste management (recycling, re-use or reduce)

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

chemical soil deterioration

chemical soil deterioration

  • Cn: fertility decline and reduced organic matter content (not caused by erosion)
physical soil deterioration

physical soil deterioration

  • Pw: waterlogging
water degradation

water degradation

  • Ha: aridification

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

As the topsoil is of quite bad quality for the crop growing in the area. Thus, the land user has to buy soil from other areas and bring it into his soil for improving the soil fertility there.

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

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

Technical specifications (related to technical drawing):

The integrated farming system is implemented on 8400 square meter of the land, including fruit trees such as 150 pomelo trees, 25 mango trees, 11 mango trees, and 10 lemon trees. Beside this, the farmer has four ponds for fish raising and irrigation, and 11 pigs which are putted separately in the cage of 42 square meter. The farmer grows the pomelo and lemon on row lines, the space between them is 5 m. Each pomelo and each lemon tree trunk is surrounded by the circular earth bund of 30 cm in height and at a diameter of 1m. They cover 240 square meters of the whole land area. The distance between the mango trees is 5 m and they surround the fishing ponds.


Mr. Khuon Sophal



4.2 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

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

0.84 ha

other/ national currency (specify):

KHR (Riel)

If relevant, indicate exchange rate from USD to local currency (e.g. 1 USD = 79.9 Brazilian Real): 1 USD =:


Indicate average wage cost of hired labour per day:

20000 KHR

4.3 Establishment activities

Activity Timing (season)
1. Forest clearing Dry season
2. Dig pond Dry season
3. Land preparation and tube system Dry season
4. Create circular earth bund around each fruit tree trunks and the soil mixed with organic fertilizer (pigs, cow dung, and chicken manure) During September
5. buying seedling During September
6. Growing fruit seedlings During September
7. Building the pig house and tube system to flow the manure Dry season
8. Buying pig Dry season
9. Buying pig fodder Dry season

4.4 Costs and inputs needed for establishment

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Forest clearing and land preparation person-day 7.0 20000.0 140000.0 100.0
Labour Digging pond person-day 170.0 20000.0 3400000.0 100.0
Labour Tube system installation person-day 10.0 20000.0 200000.0 100.0
Labour Planting of fruit trees person-day 7.0 20000.0 140000.0 100.0
Equipment Pumping machine Set 3.0 1600000.0 4800000.0 100.0
Equipment Knife Piece 1.0 20000.0 20000.0 100.0
Equipment Ax Piece 1.0 25000.0 25000.0 100.0
Equipment Two handled basket Pair 1.0 14000.0 14000.0 100.0
Equipment Hoe Piece 1.0 20000.0 20000.0 100.0
Equipment Tube system Package 1.0 8000000.0 8000000.0 100.0
Plant material Pomelo tree Tree 30.0 60000.0 1800000.0 100.0
Plant material Mango tree Tree 25.0 6000.0 150000.0 100.0
Plant material Lemon Tree 10.0 15000.0 150000.0 100.0
Plant material Tamarind Tree 11.0 80000.0 880000.0 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides Cow dung and pig manure Bag 33.0 3000.0 99000.0 100.0
Construction material Pig house Piece 1.0 16000000.0 16000000.0 100.0
Other 3 mother pigs and 1 boar Number 4.0 1200000.0 4800000.0 100.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 40638000.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology in USD 10159.5

There are four ponds surrounding the orchard. Three of them were excavated by external labour force. The farmer spent 200,000 Riel per hour while the digging required 17 hours in total equal to 3,400,000 Riel (in the cost table above, the indications of this item has been converted into person-day). Another one was dug by removing the land for farm preparation when the orchard was established in 1998. Although farmer cultivates 150 pomelo on his plot, he bought only 30 trees from outside, 120 trees he had already on his farm.

4.5 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Timing/ frequency
1. Watering once per week, if hotter, 4 days per week 32 weeks
2. Cow dug once per 6 month Once per 6 months
3. Pesticide spraying Presence of insects
4. Branches and leaves cutting Clearing per year
5. Grass clearing one week

4.6 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 Maintaining labour Person-day 240.0 20000.0 4800000.0 100.0
Plant material Diesel Liter 315.0 3000.0 945000.0 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides Organic fertilizer (pigs, cow dung, and chicken manure) Bag 50.0 44000.0 2200000.0 100.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 7945000.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology in USD 1986.25

4.7 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

The farmer spent a lot of money on building pig house which cost 16,000,000 Riel equal to 4000 USD, tube system cost 8,000,000 Riel equal to 2000 USD, pumping machine cost 4,800,000 Riel equal to 1200 USD. In addition, he also spent on digging pond which cost 3,4000,000 Riel equal to 850USD. These components of the technology affects the costs for the establishement very much.

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:

In 2015, the annual rainfall was 1138.2 mm,
in 2014, the annual rainfall was 1696.5 mm,
In 2013, the annual rainfall was 1661.8 mm.

Indicate the name of the reference meteorological station considered:

Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology (2015)

Agro-climatic zone
  • sub-humid

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:
  • low (<1%)

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:

It was not inundated over the last 3 years. The farmer uses four ponds for watering.

5.5 Biodiversity

Species diversity:
  • medium
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:
  • > 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
Indicate other relevant characteristics of the land users:

The land user is 47 years old and his wife is a seller of grocery nearby district market.

5.7 Average area of land used 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

Compared to the local context, he had the total area owned, including the land where no technology applied such as implementing technology area 0.84 hectares, land without any agriculture activities 3 hectares, paddy field 60 hectares, and crop land 0.05 hectares.

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

Land ownership:
  • individual, titled
Land use rights:
  • individual
Water use rights:
  • open access (unorganized)

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:

Although the farmer cultivated always on less fertile soil, by the Integrated Farming System he was able to optimize substantially the production (by large variety of different cultures on a limited space and products such as fruit trees, pigs, fish, more efficiency at cycling of nutrients and farm materials, etc ).

crop quality

Comments/ specify:

The pest control and the soil fertility by applying organic fertilizer have been improved slightly due to the fact that the farm ecosystem is better balanced now. In addition, he has enough ponds which ensure the water supply to the crops all year round. This may be reasons that he gets far better crop quality, now.

risk of production failure

Comments/ specify:

By the advantages of the mixed production system he was able to alleviate the farming risks caused by the exposure to climate change related uncertainties such as floods, change in rainfall pattern, drought, fluctuating market prices and diseases.

product diversity

Comments/ specify:

Compared with the past, where he didn’t implement IFS on his farm (mono-cropping), the product diversity now has been increased substantially and was reinforced by the good market demand during the last years.

land management

Comments/ specify:

Although the soil is difficult to grow fruit trees, he was able to improve the soil by using organic fertilizers (pigs, cow dung, and chicken manure). In consequence, the the land management was simplified

Water availability and quality

water availability for livestock

Comments/ specify:

After the digging fo the ponds, water for the livestock, the pigs and the chicken is available all year round.

irrigation water availability

Comments/ specify:

The farmer used the water from the new ponds for watering fruit trees.

Income and costs

expenses on agricultural inputs

Comments/ specify:

Spending more money on establishment activities (mainly the pig house, irrigation system and the ponds etc).

farm income

Comments/ specify:

Due to good market prices for his pomelo variety, the supplement fish production and the nearly close nutrient cycle on his farm that reduced the expenditure on chemical fertilizer the income increased constantly.

diversity of income sources

Comments/ specify:

Compared to the former mono-cropping system, the large variety of products produced on his farm since 1998 has diversified the income sources substantially through this technology.


Comments/ specify:

Using pumping machine for irrigating the fruit trees.

Socio-cultural impacts

food security/ self-sufficiency

Comments/ specify:

The diversification of the production in very good quality providing good nutrition to human also enhanced the food security, as there are always farm products which can be sold on the market.

health situation

Comments/ specify:

No chemical fertilizer and less of pesticide is used now.

land use/ water rights

Comments/ specify:

Due to the ponds on own farm area, the water right security has been improved significantly. However, he was already in possession of land titles.

recreational opportunities

Comments/ specify:

As in paradise – that’s what it feels walking through the multi-purpose and inspiring farm area. The farmer enjoys farming under these conditions.”

community institutions

Comments/ specify:

By his success of practicing the technology of IFS, he was able to share his knowledge with local people on farm. In addition, he propagated (macrotting) pomelo tree plants and shared them with village people free of charge (one pomelo tree plant per family who was interested to plant this kind of crop).

national institutions

Comments/ specify:

Relevant stakeholders are interested in the integrated farming system.

SLM/ land degradation knowledge

Comments/ specify:

He understands now that it was necessary to add fertile soil from other places to the degraded land in regard to improve the crop growing. In addition, he learned how to avoid chemical fertilizer which could make the soil compact and finally in the future less fertile. Further, he learned by experience how to apply organic fertilizers that enhanced the land rehabilitation.

Comments/ specify:

The water quantity has not increased because the scare water in the dry season has to be considered and the high quantity of water during flood time can not be taken into account.

Ecological impacts

Water cycle/ runoff

harvesting/ collection of water

Comments/ specify:

There are 4 ponds for rainfall water harvesting to irrigat crop or animals raising during drought.

excess water drainage

Comments/ specify:

The larger amount of installed pipes improved substantially the excess water drainage.


Comments/ specify:

The shadow from the fruit trees and the rice straw as soil cover reduced the evaporation.


soil moisture

Comments/ specify:

The soil moisture increased as he covers the soil by rice straw and fruit trees.

soil cover

Comments/ specify:

The high amount of fruit trees cover soil very well. In addition, rice straw is covering the soil arround the fruit tree trunks.

soil crusting/ sealing

Comments/ specify:

Due to the regular application of organic fertilizer and rice straw the soil crusting and sealing can be minimized.

soil organic matter/ below ground C

Comments/ specify:

The application of organic fertilizer (pigs, cow dung, and chicken manure) increased the soil organic matter.

Biodiversity: vegetation, animals

plant diversity

Comments/ specify:

Due to the higher variety of fruit trees.

pest/ disease control

Comments/ specify:

This integrated farming system avoids plant and fruit diseases and pests substantially due to favourable environmental conditions (better microclimate, better balancing of pests and beneficial organisms).

Climate and disaster risk reduction

drought impacts

Comments/ specify:

During drought situations, the farmer can use now water from ponds to irrigate the fruit trees.

6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

Comments/ specify:

Animal manure is impacted

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 increase or decrease How does the Technology cope with it?
annual temperature increase moderately
seasonal temperature wet/ rainy season increase very well
seasonal temperature dry season decrease moderately
seasonal rainfall wet/ rainy season increase well
seasonal rainfall dry season increase not well at all

Climate-related extremes (disasters)

Meteorological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
tropical storm moderately
extra-tropical cyclone well
Climatological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
heatwave moderately
drought moderately
Hydrological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
general (river) flood moderately

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

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


Long-term returns:

very positive

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 did so spontaneously, i.e. without receiving any material incentives/ payments?
  • 91-100%

6.6 Adaptation

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


If yes, indicate to which changing conditions it was adapted:
  • climatic change/ extremes

6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
High market price for the products.
He spends almost all his free time to work in the farm to relax and enjoy farming.
More income for the land user's family.
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
The soil’s quality is improved due to integrated farming and the use of organic fertilizer.
The crops are long-lasting and can continue to be harvested annually.
Labor and time are saved by using an irrigation system.

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?
The high expense on digging the ponds. Taking time and money before practicing the technique.
Pomelo could not be able to grow in the wet soil. Change crop varieties.
During the drought period, the technology practice has an increase in the number of insects, and they sometime could not be able to control like happening in 2015. Use pesticide to kill the insects.
The soil within the farm is difficult to convert from less fertile soil to fertile soil, and take many years to be ready for cropping. It is called Prateah Lang soil. Change the type of soil for cropping by using a mixture of animal manure and mountain soil.
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
Need to invest more capital. This should be done step by step.
Less fertile soil Soil conversion by mixing animal manure and fertile soil and spreading this on the area’s crop land.

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • field visits, field surveys

1 specific place

  • interviews with land users

1 person

  • interviews with SLM specialists/ experts

3 persons

When were the data compiled (in the field)?


7.2 References to available publications

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Seng, V. (2010). Agricultural Best Practices for Sustainable Land Management in Cambodia. Phnom Penh: Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute.

Available from where? Costs?


Links and modules

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