Multidimensional Benefits of Sustainable Agriculture Practices of Cambodian Smallholder Farmers

  •  Camille Heylen    
  •  Félicien Meunier    
  •  Amaury Peeters    
  •  Sreykhouch Ek    
  •  Malyne Neang    
  •  Saray Hean    
  •  Sinal Peanh    


Agriculture is an important mainstay of the Cambodian economy and recent agriculture developments have lifted many people out of poverty. However, some key challenges remain in Cambodian rural areas. To further sustain the country’s development, new ways need to be found to drive future growth without negatively impacting its existing resources. Recent efforts led by development stakeholders have been dedicated to enhanc the sustainability of Cambodian agriculture. The local non-governmental organization MODE jointly with Louvain Cooperation focuses on helping vulnerable farmers to transition towards sustainable agriculture practices through specific training. This paper aims to assess the benefits of such an approach by using SAFA (Sustainability Assessment of Food and Agriculture systems), a methodology developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization. Core indicators of the four pillars of sustainability were evaluated through interviews with eighty farmers, equally distributed in two groups (target farmers and a control group), to assess the agricultural sustainability of their local farming system. Statistical analysis revealed significant differences between the two groups. The target group which was supported in their transition to sustainable practices showed a significant increase of net incomes, more diverse food production, and higher number of actions already taken or planned in order to mitigate the inherent risks of food production. The global index resulting from the combination of all core indicators revealed a significant difference between the groups, with more sustainable practices for the target farmers. However, overall the level of sustainability remained low to very low in both groups, which was partly due to the choice to work with vulnerable people defined by low productivity.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • Issn(Print): 1927-050X
  • Issn(Onlne): 1927-0518
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: quarterly

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