In December 2010, the Society for Community Development in Cambodia (SOFDEC) has been granted for the new project known as Local Agricultural Research and Extension Center, abbreviated as LAREC. The 3 years project is funded by HEKS, the Swiss Interchurch Aid. A total 3 year approved budget is US$ 185,819, in which budget for year 1 accounts for US$ 101,579. LAREC will be established at Trapaing Popel village, Cheung Kreav commune, Rolear P'ier district, Kampong Chhnang province.
Human Resource and Operation
Objectives of LAREC
Key research and extension areas
- a) Develop agriculture technologies suited for Cambodia ecosystems
- b) Disseminate technologies to farmers and stakeholders
- c) Conserving local landraces for future utilization
LAREC is responsible for research and extension on good agriculture practices (GAP) of the following areas:
Role of LAREC
- Important local crop varieties include rice, vegetables (cucumber, water melon, pumpkin, wax gourd, cabbage) and cash crops (peanut, mungbean)
- Agronomy and sustainable land use with emphasis on integrated nutrient management, especially organic based agriculture
- Botanical pest management by focusing on Integrated Pest Management
- Important local breed of poultry
- Poultry raising techniques
- Marketing research for seeds and contract farming (with farmers) to produce seeds of rice, vegetables and other crops. LAREC focuses on post harvest technology (grading of products, packing, transport, storage, processing, distribution and sale) and provide information from production area to market and vice versa.
- Participatory research and development of technologies using local resources based on market demand: a place for technology development and relating farmers and consumers.
- Extend skills and knowledge to farmers through training, demonstration and practicing: a learning center
- Bridging between scientific researches (national and international research centers) and farmers: bringing results from researchers to farmers and from farmers to researchers
- Center of excellence for improvement of farmer's market position through availability of high quality seeds and products; development of strategies and training by SOFDEC for better access to markets for the poor
- Collaborate with local authority, NGOs and other agencies: national and international research centers: a linkage center
- Provide training in and facilitate the use of pre-harvest and post-harvest technologies
LAREC has 8 staff members, center manager, research officers, account/admin assistant, security guards and field workers. The operation of LAREC is under the direction and supervision of SOFDEC Executive Director and its Scientific Committee consisting of 7 members who have high relevant academic backgrounds and experiences.
The project activities during this first year include earth work (soil clearing, soil filling, road construction), irrigation and water supply (digging pond, water well), fence construction, building works (office and training center, storage and workshop), instalment of equipments (tractor, generator, research instruments) and crop variety researches using available local genetic resources. The main research activity focuses on the selection and adaptation of glutinous rice, watermelon and pumpkin.