Funded by Agropolis Fondation, Investissements d’Avenir, Projet 1401-016.
CONSERVATION AGRICULTURE AND DIRECT SEEDING MULCH BASED CROPPING SYSTEMS
By Florent Tivet and Hortense Jacquemain
Economic growth and poverty reduction in Cambodia depend on the sustainability of agricultural production. In order to be sustainable, agricultural production should rely on well-managed natural resources. However, agricultural resources are currently threatened by a range of agroecological and socio-economic factors. We will start the course with an emphasis on vegetation diversity in a natural forest ecosystem. Then we will move on the main processes explaining the forest productivity: nutrient cycling and retention, and the regulation of ecological processes by the soil biological activity. To conclude, we will try to understand what happens when such an ecosystem is converted into agricultural land under intensive plough-based management Restoring and protecting soil resources is a pillar of conservation agriculture. In the history of conventional plough-based agriculture, soil has been reduced to its physical dimension. Soils need to be recognized and valued for their productive capacities as well as their contribution to food security and the maintenance of key ecosystem services. In this section, you will be introduced to the conceptual model of DMC systems explaining how specific agricultural practices influence these drivers and contribute to build productive and sustainable cropping systems. We will draw the relationship between agricultural practices and the targeted functions achieved in the cultivated ecosystem.