Growing corn using drip irrigation system [Cambodia]

Growing corn using drip irrigation

technologies_3144 - 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)

Chief Office of Agricultural Extension at Provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Pursat:
Chief of Agricultural Office of Bakan:
Agronomic Official at Agricultural Office of Kandieng:

Seng Kumpheak

Agricultural Office of Kandieng


Commune Extension Worker at Kandieng Commune:

Chhun Chheng

CEW at Kandieng Commune


land user:

Pich Chanthy



{'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

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 cultivation of corn with the use of a drip irrigation system is an efficient technique that saves water and is suitable for irrigation in areas where there is a scarce water supply. Farmers using the drip irrigation system with their corn crops is an adaptation to climate change, in periods such as during the drought period. It’s reduces unnecessary evaporation, saves labor and time, improves crop growth and makes it possible to produce a high yield because of a sufficient water supply.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology


The use of a drip irrigation system is an efficient method that saves water by letting it seep through the drainage network directly into the corn clumps at regular intervals (the seepage rate is 6 liters/hour and the pressure of the water flow is between 1.2 to 2 bar). Moreover, the drip system helps to maintain moisture around the roots of a crop and does not distribute water to superfluous areas at a distance from the crop (John, 2018). In doing so it reduces the weed proficiency and also insures that enough water is provided for the crop especially during the flowering phase. This is essential because a lack of water during this phase can have a significant impact on crop yields. At the same time the use of this drip system enables farmers to adapt to climate change through the efficient use of water especially in areas that experience the adverse impacts of climate change like droughts. Furthermore, a liquid fertilizer can also be directly fed into the drip irrigation system.

In order to cultivate corn one should first scatter cow manure on the ground and then plow the soil three times after which it should be left to dry for seven days. After that it should be plowed again and then the soil is prepared for the ridging of the rows. Once the ridges have been created the drip irrigation system should be installed. This technology was applied on a plot of land with an area of 2301.5 square meters.

In order to nurse the seedlings, the farmer should mix the soil from a termite mound (or other fertile soil) with other materials. The ratio should be 1 portion of fertile soil, with 2 portions of rice husk embers and 2 portions of animal manure. Then this mixture is put into trays and then one corn seed is embedded into each cell. After the seedlings are one week old they should be transplanted. The farmer should use a bamboo stick to dig holes to a depth of 3 cm and then firstly apply D A P (18-46-0) fertilizer after which the seedlings are placed in the holes. Nursery seedlings are healthy and well-balanced as they grow, do not die easily, and produce a higher yield than seeds that are directly planted into the ground. These always have to be replanted as some seeds do not grow, and they tend to not germinate as well as the nursery seedlings. Farmers should plant two lines of seedlings in each row with a gap of 55cm between the lines. Along each of the lines there should be a gap of 30cm between one plant and the next. Farmers are able to grow corn twice a year, once from July to September and the other from February to April.

During the rainy season farmers only need to use the irrigation system for about 10 to 15 minutes in the morning or evening once the land is dry, such as when there has been no rainfall for many days or also on occasions of inadequate rainfall. In the dry season farmers water the corn twice a day for about 30 minutes each time, once in the morning and once in the evening. During the dry season 6 to 7 litters of water are used to irrigate the corn, thereby the water flow rate being 6 liters per hour. Depending on the variation in water pressure the flow rate of this drip irrigation system can range between 1 to 4 gallons per hour (1 gallon = 3,785 liters).

The farmers were supported financially by the HARVEST project in 2014 to cover the costs of the drip irrigation system and so their only expenses included the preparation of the seeds, other agricultural inputs and maintenance costs. Regarding the water use for the dry season crop on this area of land, only 600-700 cubic meters of water were consumed, which the farmer sourced from a pond and a small river.

The use of the drip irrigation system helps to reduce the amount of labor necessary for the irrigation of the corn, saves time, is able to maintain unimpaired crop growth when there is not enough water, saves water, and also reduces the growth of weeds between the plants. Therefore, this system facilitates the efficient use of water, helps to adapt to conditions brought on by climate change such as droughts, and is especially beneficial in areas where there is a scarce supply of water.

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:

Kampong Krasang Kraom village, Kandieng commune, Kandieng district, Pursat province.

Further specification of location:

The farm is near the village.

Specify the spread of the Technology:
  • applied at specific points/ concentrated on a small area

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.):

HARVEST project and the farmer followed the neighborhoods.

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • improve production
  • adapt to climate change/ extremes and its impacts
  • create beneficial economic impact
  • reduce water consumption and reduce labor.

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



  • Annual cropping
Annual cropping - Specify crops:
  • cereals - maize
Number of growing seasons per year:
  • 3

Growing within one year.


Livestock density: Raise 5 cows

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)



Before it was a rice field and over three years, she changed for other crops.

3.4 Water supply

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

The water comes from the Steung Pursat river which is nearby .

3.5 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • rotational systems (crop rotation, fallows, shifting cultivation)
  • integrated soil fertility management
  • irrigation management (incl. water supply, drainage)

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

agronomic measures

agronomic measures

  • A1: Vegetation/ soil cover
  • A2: Organic matter/ soil fertility
structural measures

structural measures

  • S7: Water harvesting/ supply/ irrigation equipment

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

  • Pc: compaction
  • Pu: loss of bio-productive function due to other activities
biological degradation

biological degradation

  • Bc: reduction of vegetation cover
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:
  • prevent land degradation
  • reduce land degradation

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

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

{'additional_translations': {}, 'content_type': 'image/jpeg', 'preview_image': '/media/a9/8/a98a31f3-a5fe-4b34-98a4-bc475639e763.jpg', 'key': 'Technical drawing', 'value': '/media/ae/0/ae05553d-6505-40f0-a69e-7066b8e89d10.jpg', 'template': 'raw'}
Technical specifications (related to technical drawing):

The components of the drip irrigation system includes a motor pump, a valve, a filter, a pressure gauge, a main line (with a diameter 60 mm), a sub main line (with a diameter 49 mm), and a tube (diameter 16 mm). The drip irrigation system was applied on a plot of 2301.5 square meters.
Depending on the season there are two ways to prepare the ridges of the rows. Firstly, in the rainy season the farmer should plow the ridges to a height of 50 cm and a width of 1 meter. The gap between each of the rows should be 1 meter and the length of each row is the actual length of the land. In the dry season the ridges of the rows should be plowed to the same length and width but the height should only be 20 cm because in the dry season there is not a lot of rain. Each row gets one drip line.


Mr. Khoun 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:

2301.5 square meters

other/ national currency (specify):


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. Ploughing the soil May
2. Making rows + nursing of corn seedlings+ installing drip irrigation system May
3. Making pits + putting fertilizer in pits + planting corn seedling May

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 Plow the soil Person-day 4.7 20000.0 94000.0 100.0
Labour Make row and prepare drip irrigation Person-day 2.5 20000.0 50000.0 100.0
Labour Nursing and planting the corn seedlings Person-day 4.0 20000.0 80000.0 100.0
Equipment Pump motor Set 1.0 240000.0 240000.0 100.0
Equipment Hoe Piece 1.0 200000.0 200000.0 30.0
Equipment Seed tray Piece 80.0 2500.0 200000.0 100.0
Plant material Corn seed Pack 3.0 28000.0 84000.0 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides Fertilizer (D A P, Kaly, Urea) Kilogram 7.0 2000.0 14000.0 100.0
Construction material Pipe Meter 100.0 1600.0 160000.0 100.0
Construction material Tube Piece 1.0 200000.0 200000.0 30.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 1322000.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology in USD 330.5
If land user bore less than 100% of costs, indicate who covered the remaining costs:

Harvest project supported the cost of the drip irrigation system.

4.5 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Timing/ frequency
1. Irrigated corn by using drip irrigation system when there is no rain. drought or dry season
2. Applying fertilizer 4 times per crop cycle. during maintenance
3. Create the ridge of the row after growth of 15 or 18 days during maintenance
4. Cutting leaf of corn two times: corn have 20 days and one month during maintenance

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 Create the ridge of the rows Person-day 1.0 20000.0 20000.0 100.0
Labour Cutting the leafs of the corn person-day 1.0 20000.0 20000.0 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides Fertilizer Kilogram 40.0 2000.0 80000.0 100.0
Other Electricity for water pumping kilowatt-hour 267.0 790.0 210930.0 100.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 330930.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology in USD 82.73

4.7 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

The seed and the tube are expensive.

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:

Annual rainfall in 2015 is 1225.7 mm and in 2014 is 1128.1 mm and in 2013 is 1316 mm.

Indicate the name of the reference meteorological station considered:

Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology (2015)

Agro-climatic zone
  • sub-humid

The weather is warm and humid and there are 2 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):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Soil texture (> 20 cm below surface):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • medium (1-3%)
If available, attach full soil description or specify the available information, e.g. soil type, soil PH/ acidity, Cation Exchange Capacity, nitrogen, salinity etc.

pH = 5.5

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

5-50 m

Availability of surface water:


Water quality (untreated):

good drinking water

Is water salinity a problem?


Is flooding of the area occurring?




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
  • women
Age of land users:
  • middle-aged
Indicate other relevant characteristics of the land users:

Farmer is 47 years old.

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

For land cultivation: crops 0.5 hectare, rice field 3 hectares but only 1 hectare where she cultivates rice and the other 2 ha she rents to neighbor.

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

Quantity before SLM:


Quantity after SLM:


Comments/ specify:

By applying drip irrigation system, she can grow crops two or three times per year.

crop quality

Comments/ specify:

Using cow manure and have enough water to use.

risk of production failure

Comments/ specify:

Nursing before planting is making seedling grow well and do not die when planting.

land management

Comments/ specify:

Crop can protect soil erosion and soil have more nutrient than before because using cow manure and soil cover by crop also keep soil moisture well.

Income and costs

expenses on agricultural inputs

Comments/ specify:

Reduce spending on use chemical fertilizer and labor cost.

farm income

Comments/ specify:

Because the growing corn can grow two or three time per year and get high yield.


Comments/ specify:

Do not need much labor for irrigation and maintenance of the corn.

Socio-cultural impacts

food security/ self-sufficiency

Comments/ specify:

Can grow two or three times per year and get high yield.

health situation

Comments/ specify:

Do not effect health because don't use much chemical fertilizer.

SLM/ land degradation knowledge

Comments/ specify:

nursery before planting, using drip irrigation can save water for irrigation crop.

Ecological impacts

Water cycle/ runoff


Comments/ specify:

Crop is cover soil reduce evaporation and keep soil moisture as well.


soil moisture

Comments/ specify:

Crop keep soil moisture well.

soil compaction

Comments/ specify:

The using cow manure make soil not compact and the crop keep moisture because soil can get water daily from drip irrigation system.

soil organic matter/ below ground C

Comments/ specify:

Using cow manure and residue crop help to increase nutrient in soil.

6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

Specify assessment of off-site impacts (measurements):


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 very well
annual rainfall increase moderately

Climate-related extremes (disasters)

Climatological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
drought very well

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

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

slightly positive

Long-term returns:


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


Long-term returns:


6.5 Adoption of the Technology

  • 1-10%
If available, quantify (no. of households and/ or area covered):

4 households of the village

Of all those who have adopted the Technology, how many did so spontaneously, i.e. without receiving any material incentives/ payments?
  • 0-10%

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
Reduces the amount of labor necessary for the crop irrigation.
Produces a high yield.
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
The trays of the seedlings in the corn nursery only require a small amount of soil and the seedlings grow well when they are transferred to the field.
Saves time and water for irrigation.
There are less weeds and a greater abundance of micro-organisms in the soil, which produces a high yield.

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 amount of time that is spent collecting the drip line after the crop has been harvested. Expend effort in collecting the drip line.
It is expensive Farmers need to know how to maintain and connect the drip line by themselves once it breaks, as well as wash it well and handle it properly.
The remain drip line cannot be used for anything. Farmers suggest to burn it or bury it in the soil.

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • field visits, field surveys

1 place

  • interviews with land users

1 person

  • interviews with SLM specialists/ experts

4 people

When were the data compiled (in the field)?


7.3 Links to relevant online information

Title/ description:

John D. (2018). Corn benefits of Drip Irrigation. John Deere water. Retrieved from


Title/ description:

DanChurchAid/Christian Aid. (2015). Farmer book: Kit of best Agriculture Technologies to Adapt with climate change. Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Finsheries. In Khmer. Retrieved from


Title/ description:

Maff (2014). Technical growing corn. Agricultural magazin. Volum (47). In Khmer. Retrieve from

URL: growing corn.html

Title/ description:

Agritoday (2018). Corn planting technique. Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. In khmer. Retrieved from


Title/ description:

Cam Agriculture (2016). The modern irrigation system. CAM AGRICULTURE IMPORT EXPORT LTD. In Khmer. Retrieved from


Links and modules

Expand all Collapse all