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A story of one of Agrinatura students doing a research in Cambodia continues here.
We, me and my team, conducted three simulation games in two villages of Stung Chinit, in the Kampong Thom province, Cambodia.
During those games, farmers played with assets that were distributed to them. Those assests shall represent their reality and were identified during the individual interviews.
During the first round game, the farmers shall play their current farming practices and during the second round we propose them several conservation agriculture innovations: a use of the cover crop, different types of uses such as forage crop for animal feed or legumes cover crops for soil fertility; and the use of the no-till planter which is a technology that sow rice seeds without requiring any ploughing activity and that can be used on mulching.
The objectives of the simulation games are:
- To learn about farmer’s current practices, farms characteristics and animal grazing control, in order to implement the proposed innovations
- To build up farmer’s capacities regarding the innovations, to bring diversity to their farming systems and to propose alternatives on their animal grazing control during the dry season.
- To identify farmers’ trajectories and thus, the innovations that fit with their context and diversity of farm systems.
Depending on farmers’ preferences, we analyze their interests and capacity to implement one or even more conservation agriculture practices proposed by the CASC/CIRAD project. Giving the discussions among the farmers and the scientific teams, it might also demonstrate what kind of changes or solutions are required in order to implement the innovations at individual and collective level in sustainable way. In other terms, these games, coupled with the village meetings that will follow, shall increase the sustainability of the establishment of the innovation practices and reinforce stakeholders’ cooperation and interactions.
After the end of these games in the province, the service providers have been interviewed. These service providers are generally farmers, owning tractors and other farming machinery, providing farming services such as ploughing, ridging or harrowing for the farmers. Their involvement is crucial for the implementation of the conservation agriculture project in the two provinces and for a sustainable scaling process of conservation agriculture practices.
Also, a workshop with SwissContact (NGO) that is involving service providers from different villages and machinery retailers have been implemented. The purposes of these interventions is to empower private entrepreneurs, agricultural machinery manufacturers and importers, agribusiness retailers and to shift the conventional soil degrading agricultural production systems to profitable soil and ecosystem enhancing Conservation Agriculture Production Systems (CAPS).
Pictures by @Agrinatura