Aimed towards keeping abreast with the current trends and innovation in the fields of agriculture, technology and biodiversity, the University responded to the call of the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) in Cambodia in partnership with Kansas State University, to join in the series of conferences and trainings with highlights on conservation agriculture.
CPSU delegates were Dr. Angelie Rose Lumba, director for Research and Development, and Dr. Joe-An Mae Escober, Murcia extension class coordinator. The two-week event started from June 20 – July 1, 2022, in which the first among the series was the “Regional Training on Soil Health and Conservation Agriculture” at the Cambodiana Hotel, Phnom Penh. This was followed by a four-day training workshop from June 21-24, 2022 held at the Rattanak Mondoul District, Battambang, organized by the Department of Agricultural Land Resources Management, General Directorate of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and CIRAD.
Speakers during this event were Mr. PHY Chhin from Kaen University in Thailand, and currently the focal point of the soil project to Soil Atlas of Asia, soil carbon sequestration and salt affected soil maps, and digital soil information system in the framework of ASP/GSP; Dr. Rada KONG, who is an agronomist and agro-economist, now designated as the national project coordinator of the project Agroecology and Sage Food Systems Transition in Southeast Asia (ASSET); Mr. Soveth Team, project officer for ISA in Swisscontact; and Dr. Florent Tivet, an agronomist from CIRAD French Agricultural Research Center for Development.
This was succeeded with the next set of event, the “Third International Sustainable Agricultural Intensification and Nutrition Conference (SAIN3)”, held last June 27-28, 2022 at Siem Reap, Cambodia. During this event, various research-based technologies, best practices and findings were shared by presenters coming from different parts of the world. Part of the presenters were Dr. Lumba and her study on the Efficiency of Conservation Agriculture and Cropping Systems on Enhancing Crop Yields; and Dr. Escober with her study on Biodiversity and Socio-Economic Impact of Solar Home System Installation Trade Off Conservation Agriculture.
Part also of this event was the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with RUA Rector represented by H.E. Dr. Ngo Bunthan and CPSU through Dr. Aladino Moraca as represented by Dr. Lumba.
Concluding the series of activities was a three-day conference field trip for on-site visits at various agri-tech projects from June 29-July 1, 2022. Said sites were the CE SAIN Agricultural Technology Park (ATP) in Kampong Thom, Conservation agriculture with rice at Stoeng Chinit, Bos Knor Field Research and Extension Station, and the RUA CE SAIN ATP and CAST aquaculture. It likewise included an in-field training with Cambodian and French Technical experts at MAFF experimental and demo center with the record of having the longest no-till fields in Southeast Asia.
The entirety of the events captured a picture of different countries standing united to uphold and promote a more sustainable world through agriculture and biodiversity. These efforts all lead towards setting up global mechanism to strengthen initiatives in innovation, entrepreneurship and agriculture.
By: J.A. Emoy
Photos. J.M. Escober