What is agroecology ?

Agroecology : a science, a movement and a practice

Sustainable agriculture

Agroecology is a sustainable agriculture that imitate natural process in ecosystems to increase production.

Video from CASC programm, by Cirad

A scientific field

Agroecology is ecology of agroecosystem.

It’s “application of the ecological science to the study, the design and the management of sustainable agroecosystem”. (Gliessman 1998)

A social movement

Agroecology is the political program of sustainable development.

It’s “base control of seeds, biodiversity, field and terroirs, of water, knowledge, culture, commun owning and commun space in the hand of those who feed the world” (FI sur l’Agroécologie, Nyéléni, Mali, 2015)

Some practices

Agroecology is farmers expertise based on diversity value.

It’s improving growing and farming system to improve global productivity of the agroecosystem, imitating biological processes of the ecostystem. (Olivier De Schutter, 2010)

Why to do agroecology in Cambodia ?

 

Because agroecology is a efficient way to :

increase employment opportunities

Agroecology is more lucrative

Improve yield and nutritiVE quality of FOODs

Agroecology is more efficient

Protect environment and health

Agroecology is more sustainable

Create empowerment

(free from debts and agricultural input dependances)

Agroecology is more fair

 

How does it work ?

What are agroecology aims ?

Improve soil fertility creating organic matter and biological life

Recycle biomass and nutrients

Valorise water ressources

Valorise good biological interactions

Boost operational biodiversity

Optimize power ressources

Ecosystem : basics notions

Light

The plant grows by fixing the air’s carbon thanks to the light’s power and the water, to produce sugars and to release oxygen, it’s the photosynthesis.

Carbon (CO2)

It’s the first compound of which the plant feeds and therefore the one of which it’s mainly constituted.

TREES

The tree produces soil by the production of biomass, decomposes the rocks by the secretion of acids to extract the minerals, fills the water tables when it rains and raises the water to the surface when it\’s dry, thanks to its deep roots.

BactERIA

Bacteria mineralize organic matter and solubilize minerals to feed plants and animals. Cyanobacteria are the pioneers of soil formation. Others fix nitrogen in the air.

SOIL's Animals

The animals decompose plants and dead animals, create the porosity of soil, allow the penetration of water.

CLAY

Manufactered by the trees’ roots, raised and connected to organic matter by the earthworms, they form the best nutrients tank.

WATER

Water conducts all solubilized minerals elements and sugars into the cells of all living beings. It provides hydrogen cations.

Nitrogen (N2)

Nitrogen is fixed by bacteria and brought to the plant to synthesize amino acids, enzymes and proteins.

MUSHROOMS

The mushrooms’ mycelium produces organic matter and agglomerates it by secreting complex sugars, regulates water in the soil, explores and exploits the soil resources to bring them to plants in exchange for sugar, thanks to mycorrhizae.

Plants

The plant feeds animals and mushrooms, and enriches the soil with carbon to feed bacteria.

ORGANIC MATTER

Organic matter is used for keeping water and nutrient that living organism need.

Minerals

The plant need minerals to improve it’s life cycle. Phosphore, Magnésium, Calcium and Potassium are essencial to produce aminate acides ; Bore, Cuivre, Manganèse, Nickel, Iron, Zinc are usefull to enzymes.

Ecosystem : basics notions

LIGHT

The plant grows by fixing the air's carbon thanks to the light's power and the water, to produce sugars and to release oxygen, it's the photosynthesis.
WATER

Water conducts all solubilized minerals elements and sugars into the cells of all living beings. It provides hydrogen cations.
CARBON OF AIR (C02)

It's the first compound of which the plant feeds and therefore the one of which it's mainly constituted.
NITROGEN OF AIR (N2)

Nitrogen is fixed by soil microrganism of the soil and brought to the plant to produce amino acid and proteins. Air is the biggest reserve of nitrogen, it got 78% of it.
TREES

The tree produces soil by the production of biomass, decomposes the rocks by the secretion of acids to extract the minerals, fills the water tables when it rains and raises the water to the surface when it's dry, thanks to its deep roots.
MUSHROOMS

The mushrooms' mycelium produces organic matter and agglomerates it by secreting complex sugars, regulates water in the soil, explores and exploits the soil resources to bring them to plants in exchange for sugar, thanks to mycorrhizae.
BACTERIA

Bacteria mineralize organic matter and solubilize minerals to feed plants and animals. Cyanobacteria are the pioneers of soil formation. Others fix nitrogen in the air.
PLANTS

The plant feeds animals and mushrooms, and enriches the soil with carbon to feed bacteria.
SOIL'S ANIMALS (epigeic, soil-dwelling, anecic)

The animals decompose plants and dead animals, create the porosity of soil, allow the penetration of water.
ORGANIC MATTER

Organic matter is used for keeping water and nutrient that living organism need.
CLAY

Manufactered by the trees' roots, raised and connected to organic matter by the earthworms, they form the best nutrients tank.
MINERALS

The plant need minerals to improve it’s life cycle. Phosphore, Magnésium, Calcium and Potassium are essencial to produce aminate acides ; Bore, Cuivre, Manganèse, Nickel, Iron, Zinc are usefull to enzymes.

agroecological practices

Successions

Plant different crops on the same field, one after another, to controle diseases, pest and weeds. And also value available nutrients.

Associations

Plant different crops on the same field at the same time. This way you can combine complementarity, facilitation and beneficial challenge to controle diseases, pest and weeds.

Soil cover

Always cover the soil by herbs to protect it from sun, rain and reduce nutrient lose.

Hedgerow

Plant trees, bush and hedge between crops to produce more biomass, keep water and protect from the wind.

Direct seeding

Scratch the soil on surface or totally stop tillage to keep the structure and increase soil biologic activity.

Seed saving

Duplicate and exchange seeds from different sorts between farmers to help plant to adapt to the place.

Grazing, farming

Introduce farming to crop system to value food chain and recycle nutrients.

Composting

Decompose organic matter and give it to the soil for feeding it and host microorganism of the soil and store elements they need.

Agriculture in Cambodia

Cambodia is predominantly an agricultural country: 80% of Cambodian families own cultivable lands and 68% of Khmer people are farmers.

However they are neglected by government policies and farming work is increasingly depreciated by townspeople. Poverty overwhelmingly affects 70% of rural areas. 31% of families own less than 1 hectare and live with less than 1$ a day.

%

of cambodians are farmers

%

of cambodian families own cultivable lands

%

of poverty in rural context

%

of families own less than 1 hectar and live with less than 1$/day

Due to these poor conditions, young Cambodians tend to leave agricultural work to move to cities and border countries and work in factories.

Nevertheless, families living from small-scale agriculture own the key to their food safety and financial autonomy.

Battambang is the 1st Cambodian agricultural province, called «rice granary of the country». Thanks to its proximity with Thailand and its tourism policy, the town is in economic expansion.

Agricultural production in Cambodia

Cambodian GDP is 18,05 billions of dollards in 2015 in which 35% comes from agriculture.

In 2016, Cambodia produced more than 7,5 millions of tonne of rice in 2016 during rainy season.

  • Cultivated land in rice 50%
  • Cultivated land in market gardening 30%

Climate, between drought and monsoon, and economy of Cambodia don’t allow farmers to follow conventional farming rate. Use of agricultural input has increased of 28% and pesticides of 33% between 2007 and 2010. After having a poor land because of industrial farming and without possibility to buy more and more agricultural input and pesticides, some of the farmers are forced to rural exodus, unemployment and famine.

You are interested about agroecology ?

Contact us

Ressources

Organizations also working in agroecology in Cambodia :

  • GRET Research group of technological exchange
  • ECOLAND Research center about agroecology of Royal University of Cambodia
  • CEDAC Studies and development center
  • CIRD Rural development institute
  • CIRAD French organization of agronomique research
  • AGRISUD International company of agricultural project creation

Photography of agroecology in the world

Load More

INFORMATIONS PLATEFORME OF OSEZ L’AGRO ECOLOGIE

Watch videos

 

ONU’S REPORT ABOUT FEEDING RIGHT 

of Olivier de Shutter

Read the document

 

AGROCOLOGY, A REASON TO HOPE

of Miguel Altieri

Read the document

Audiovisual ressources

"The harvest of the future" of Marie-Monique Robin

Trailer of the movie – Documentary

Synospis : Marie-Monique Robin investigates by gathering interviews with farmers, agricultural engineers, politicians and heads of international organizations on four continents (Africa, Asia, North America and Europe). With Harvests of the Future, one discovers that another commercial and agricultural model that is innovative and productive has already shown its merits, returning to farmers a key role in mankind’s future.

"A River Changes Course" of Kalyanee Mam

 

Trailer of the movie – Documentary

Synopsis : “We’ve worked so hard on this land,” says Sav Samourn. “And now they’ve come to destroy it all. Sooner or later it will all be gone.” In her directorial debut, award-winning filmmaker Kalyanee Mam travels to her native homeland to capture the stories of three young Cambodians struggling to maintain their traditional way of life while the modern world closes in around them. Deep in the jungle, Sav Samourn struggles as large companies encroach and “progress” claims the life-giving forests. She discovers there’s little room for wild animals, ghosts – and the home she has always known. In a fishing hamlet, Sari Math must quit school to help support his family. But as the fish catch dwindles, Sari and his family find their livelihood threatened. In a village, Khieu Mok must leave to seek work in a Phnom Penh factory to help pay her family’s debts. But city life proves no better, and Khieu struggles between her need to send money home and her duty to be with her loved ones. From Cambodia’s forests to its rivers, from its idyllic rice fields to the capital’s pulsing heart, forces of radical change are transforming the landscape of the country – and the dreams of its people.

Written by Kalyanee Mam

"Honey Than More" of Charles Berling

 

Trailer of the movie – Documentary

Synopsis :Over the past 15 years, numerous colonies of bees have been decimated throughout the world, but the causes of this disaster remain unknown. Depending on the world region, 50% to 90% of all local bees have disappeared, and this epidemic is still spreading from beehive to beehive – all over the planet. Everywhere, the same scenario is repeated: billions of bees leave their hives, never to return. No bodies are found in the immediate surroundings, and no visible predators can be located.

In the US, the latest estimates suggest that a total of 1.5 million (out of 2.4 million total beehives) have disappeared across 27 states. In Germany, according to the national beekeepers association, one fourth of all colonies have been destroyed, with losses reaching up to 80% on some farms. The same phenomenon has been observed in Switzerland, France, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Austria, Poland and England, where this syndrome has been nicknamed “the Mary Celeste Phenomenon”, after a ship whose crew vanished in 1872.

Scientists have found a name for the phenomenon that matches its scale, “colony collapse disorder,” and they have good reason to be worried: 80% of plant species require bees to be pollinated. Without bees, there is no pollinization, and fruits and vegetables could disappear from the face of the Earth. Apis mellifera (the honey bee), which appeared on Earth 60 million years before man and is as indispensable to the economy as it is to man’s survival.

Should we blame pesticides or even medication used to combat them? Maybe look at parasites such as varroa mites? New viruses? Travelling stress? The multiplication of electromagnetic waves disturbing the magnetite nanoparticles found in the bees’ abdomen? So far, it looks like a combination of all these agents has been responsible for the weakening of the bees’ immune defenses.

Fifty years ago, Einstein had already insisted on the symbiotic relationship binding these pollen gatherers to mankind: “If bees were to disappear from the globe,” he predicted, “mankind would only have four years left to live.”

"Tomorrow" of Cyril Dion and Mélanie Laurent

 

Trailer of the movie – Documentary

Synopsis :Showing solutions, telling a feel-good story… this may be the best way to solve the ecological, economical and social crises that our countries are going through. After a special briefing for the journal Nature announced the possible extinction of a part of mankind before the end of the 21st century, Cyril Dion and Mélanie Laurent, together with a team of four people, carried out an investigation in ten different countries to figure out what may lead to this disaster and above all how to avoid it.

During their journey, they met the pioneers who are re-inventing agriculture, energy, economy, democracy and education. Joining those concrete and positive actions which are already working, they began to figure out what could be tomorrow’s world…

"A quest for meaning" of Nathanaël Coste and Marc de la Ménardière

 

Trailer of the movie – Documentary

Synopsis : Two childhood friends travel the world to meet some of the greatest thinkers of our time. This incredible voyage, full of moments of doubt and moments of joy, will lead them to question the very beliefs that have shaped Western civilization. This film captures the change in human consciousness currently happening all over the planet, and the desire to live in harmony with oneself and the world.

VIVRE DE SA TERRE

Vivre de sa Terre is a French association of agricultural services that actively supports Cambodian farmers and takes part in sustainable rural development in Northwestern Cambodia. We need you !