First featured story of Agrinatura students doing a research in developing countries
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Diversification of Rice Cropping Systems in Cambodia
A MSc ACT student of Montpellier SupAgro and Universita di Catania, Pierre Vernet, is doing a master thesis research in Cambodia focusing on diversification of rice cropping systems in Kampong Thom province – implementation of a participative approach for a collective management of cash crop, located at the Stung Chinit irrigation scheme.
This is his story about how he arrived and first feelings in developing country. I arrived to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on the 3rd of April after a twenty hours trip. I remained in the capital city 5 next days. I met Florent Tivet, CIRAD, one of my supervisors, with whom we discussed the logistics and schedule for the forthcoming few weeks. Also, we cleared up details about the framework of my placement. We had a Skype meeting with other colleague Nicolas Faysse on the same topics.
On the 5th and 6th of April, I went to Takeo province, which is southwest from the capital in order to observe a work previously done by a researcher from AVSF on forage cropping. This forage crop (mainly Paspalum atratum) is used during the process of “cut and carry” for animal feed as well as, in Takeo province, it is also used as sale product on street local markets. A batch of 5kg of animal feed is sold for 1,300Riels (0,325$) and a farmer gets only 700Riels (0,18$) from it. During this 2 days trip to Takeo province, the ASVF staff took various videos of the whole forage sale process in order to be used on an e-learning platform.
Other day, I moved to Battambang province, northwest Cambodia, which took me 7 hours by bus to get there. Until today I am observing a work done by AVSF and CIRAD in small villages of the province. They used the same type of the questionnaires among the households on cropping systems and animal husbandry that I will apply in Kampong Thom province (Stung Chinit). We visited some of the households of the villages in order to propose them two days “field trip” in Kampong Cham and Kampong Thom on 18th and 19th of April. Farmers and scientist together might interact and share agriculture knowledge and practices, as well as different methods and systems of culture of the two provinces in Cambodia.
During the forthcoming few weeks, I will have to design a placement calendar in order to organise efficiently my stay in Stung Chinit. During all that time, I have kept working on my reading material and on a literature review on Stung Chinit irrigation scheme which is very specific to the region and with a complex history, and on Kampong Thom farming activities. Therefore, now I can already start working on data that correspond to households that I will meet in this region.
To be continued soon!