Tomato Harvest Success Using Climate-Smart Agriculture
By Nonin Chhor, East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer Foundation Manager for Cambodia.
KAMPONG CHAM PROVINCE, CAMBODIA — Khom Khim was the first farmer in the Grow Against the Flow project who was interested in grafting tomatoes onto eggplant rootstock, a technique that can help control disease. Khom is 56 years old and has three sons and three daughters. Before the project, she used traditional cultivation methods to grow rice, cucumbers, and hot peppers, raising her crops partially for home consumption and partially for sale.
In selecting a key farmer to manage a demonstration project, East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer Foundation (EWS-KT) looks for someone who is interested in trying new techniques to improve their production. Khom said, “I want to try the tomato production in my farm, because I failed at this production last time.”
When she joined the Grow Against the Flow project in August 2020 as a key farmer, Khom eagerly adopted the EWS-KT techniques for grafting tomatoes and for producing vegetables using climate-smart agriculture, from land preparation through harvest.
Following training by EWS-KT, she understands more about safe vegetable production and climate-smart methods such as mulching, drip irrigation, fertiliser application, and integrated pest management. Using these techniques, she has been able to increase her production of tomatoes and yardlong beans from 500 square metres to 1,200 square metres, and she has plans to further expand production.
Khom is very satisfied with the agricultural techniques that EWS-KT provided to her community. She feels that small farmers need additional projects in this area because of the intensive wet and dry seasons that produce intensive climatic conditions. Farmers want to improve their water efficiency and management, which still poses a challenge to production during the hot season.
Grow Against the Flow enables smallholder farmers in Cambodia and Lao PDR to increase safe, year-round vegetable production by teaching them techniques for growing and harvesting vegetables in difficult climatic conditions. Cultivating crops in the traditional off-season makes nutrient-rich food consistently available to consumers and raises the income of farmers. This project is co-funded and led by the World Vegetable Center in collaboration with EWS-KT, Lao PDR Department of Agriculture, and iDE.