Scaling suitable, sustainable technologies for smallholder farmers in Cambodia

G. Pekarcik, D. Ader, R. Bates, T. Gill, H. Goertz, S. Huot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While several agricultural technologies have been successfully piloted on research stations or with small numbers of early adopters in Cambodia, questions remain on how to extend these technologies to large numbers of resource-poor smallholders. The objectives of the Scaling Suitable Sustainable Technologies Project (S3-Cambodia) are to examine pathways for scaling sustainable intensification (SI) technologies to smallholder farmers by promoting vegetable grafting, post-rice secondary cropping, and wild food plant gardens. S3-Cambodia is scaling these technologies through two pathways: the private sector and youth engagement. The private sector pathway involves strengthening the participation of farmers, women’s groups, cooperatives, and community organizations in local and regional value chains for SI-produced horticulture crops. The youth engagement pathway involves piloting “green labs” in secondary schools to provide students with experiential learning and training on these SI technologies, allowing school communities to evaluate new practices before applying them at the field- or farm-scale. Early results indicate that both pathways are a viable approach to scaling agricultural technologies to new users. To date, 345 individuals have received training on SI technologies and three nurseries have been supported to expand their SI production. Market survey data from farmers and retailers suggest a significant market demand for grafted tomato plants during the wet season and traditional wild food plants (WFP) year-round. Household survey and interview data from high school parents, principals, and teachers point to the likelihood of agricultural knowledge transfer from student “green labs” to school communities. While COVID-19 has disrupted certain scaling efforts, initial project activities provide a research and evidence base to support the next steps in the long term scaling up of SI among rice-based farming systems throughout Cambodia and the wider Southeast Asia region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-334
Number of pages8
JournalActa Horticulturae
StatePublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Horticulture


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