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Agricultural Component Preliminary ReportTonle Sap Lowland Stabilization Project Cambodia   TA 4756 CAM  

Agricultural Component Preliminary ReportTonle Sap Lowland Stabilization Project Cambodia - TA 4756-CAM

There is a strong rationale for the project to improve livelihoods in the lowland rice growing area around the Tonle Sap Lake because: . i) This is the transition zone of the Tonle Sap Biosphere; ii) There is clear evidence that the poorest families in the transition zone exploit the resources of the Tonle Sap in times of hardship; iii) The resources of the highland forested areas surrounding the Tonle Sap basin are also exploited; iv) The lowland rain fed rice production area encompassing the transition zone is one of the main production regions for the whole of Cambodia; v) Increases in rice production have generally improved food security, but the challenge now is to change from a subsistence economy to a cash economy, driven by agricultural diversification; vi) The dramatic increase in production experienced over the past decade has not been equitable, with the very poor remaining in a desperate situation. . Experience from the recently completed IFAD-funded ADESS project shows that a group approach does work for very poor farmers. The ADESS Production Start-Up Program assisted about 13,000 extremely poor rural families to take the first step to break the poverty cycle. . During a Stakeholder Workshop conducted in Phnom Penh on 27-28 November 2006, provincial staff from all concerned departments discussed possible sub projects, including agriculture. This was very much a preliminary consultation to provide the TA team with some direction in which to proceed. The suggestions from the Workshop have been included in this description of possible Sub Projects. . Sub Project Options. In consideration of the findings of the Agro Ecosystems Analysis and in light of the sub-project suggestions from the Stakeholder Workshop(27 November, 2006), there are five possible options for consideration: Option 1, a special group livelihoods program. The program would target the poorest families with limited land and capital, who are forced to exploit the lake. The program would also assist those who are disadvantaged including FHH and disabled. A package of inputs would be provided to enhance food and income generating opportunities, with the cost of inputs paid back to a group revolving fund; Option 2, a productivity improvement program for poor farmers with some resources but who lack technical knowledge. The objective would be to diversify agriculture and reduce the dependence on a single rice crop. On-farm demonstrations, farmer field schools and field days would assist in the technology transfer process. Specific problems, opportunities and key questions identified during the AEAs would serve as the starting point; Option 3, improved agricultural services to poor farmers including improved supply of quality inputs (seed, fertilizer, and veterinary supplies), animal health services from village vets, value adding opportunities, and improved marketing opportunities; Option 4, improved access to credit, either through group revolving funds, savings and loan schemes or through MFIs, and Option 5, support for alternative income generating activities, including vocational training.

Uploaded on: Feb 2009
File size: 560 KB - Language: English
Keyword(s): Agriculture
Category: Farming