Overview Objectives

The aim of the Fund is to provide an environment of competitive tender for agricultural research. Seed funding and initial management of the fund will be provided by the Australian Government, through ACIAR and AusAID. In the medium term, it is expected that the CARF will be institutionalised within Cambodia. Other donors will be encouraged to contribute to the trust fund and/or support projects linked to trust fund projects.

Project Background and Objectives

ACIAR manages the Cambodian Agricultural Research Fund (CARF), a component of the AusAID-funded ‘Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute Assistance Project’. CARF was established in 2002 to provide Cambodian scientists with an opportunity to compete for agricultural research funds. It is open to government, university or college and NGO organisations based in Cambodia, which have the clear ability and mandate to implement research within Cambodia.

Progress Reports (Year 1, 2, 3 etc)

In the medium term, it is expected that the CARF will be institutionalised within Cambodia. Other donors will be encouraged to contribute to the trust fund and/or support projects linked to trust fund projects. Proposals must contain a defined research component, and can be of one to three years in duration. The annual funding limit is US $10,000 and the grant moneys are for expenditure only within Cambodia. A selection panel comprising senior Cambodian and international experts in agricultural development has been established to evaluate the proposals. Preference is given to proposals that aim to achieve agricultural diversification and involve multi-disciplinary team approaches to a problem, especially when including socio-economic expertise, extension workers or farmer groups. Although there are no formal international collaboration arrangements embodied as in standard ACIAR projects, many do involve international collaboration and complement funding from other donors.
After discussion with May Sam-Ouen, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in April 2002, it was agreed that he nominated three Cambodians to sit on the selection panel for the Cambodian Agricultural Research Fund. These people were Mr Lord Reasmey (MAFF), Mr Thai Sun Heang (Prek Leap National School of Agriculture), Mr Chan Nareth (Royal University of Agriculture). To ensure objectivity, it has been the practice that committee members do not vote on a particular proposal if their organisation were named as a potential recipient of funding in that proposal.
Twenty-three CARF applications for the first CARF round were received by the 31 July 2002 closing date. Prior to this, information sheets, application forms and scoring sheets had been developed. Successful applications for round 1 (2002 selection round) were:
- Reduction of postharvest losses of rice grain (Meas Pyseth, CARDI, 2 years)
- Enhancement of ecologically-based rodent management (Preap Visarto, CARDI, 2 years)
- Field trial with thermostable Newcastle disease … (Sorn San, DAHP, 2 years)
- Optimisation of tubular plastic biodigesters in integrated farming systems (San Thy, UTA, 2 years)
- Mulberry and pig production in integrated farming systems (Chiv Phiny, UTA, 2 years)
- Improvement of maize management and production through farmers participatory research (Meng Sokhon, SAPL, 2 years)
- Silage production for small-scale cattle keeping (Ny Dina, SAPL, 1 year)
- Dissemination of knowledge on species preferences and aquaculture constraints in Takeo province (Kong Svansay, RUA, 1 year)
- A preliminary study of the potential of aquaculture development in Svay Chor Cheb … (Chhim Rumuny, RUA, 6 months)
In March 2001, prior to the start of CARF, ACIAR funded and conducted a training course in on scientific writing in English. There were 22 attendees from different R&D institutes, and several of them subsequently wrote applications for CARF funding. A second course, more specifically focussed on research proposal preparation, provided training in preparation of research applications for this Fund, as well as to other donors. Five one-day training sessions, followed by one-on-one support were provided to over 100 Cambodian scientists in June 2002. The audiences included staff of the Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute; representatives of other government and non-government organizations; staff of the Prek Leap School of Agriculture; staff of the National School of Agriculture Kampong Cham and staff of the Royal College of Agriculture.
A formal training course on research problem identification and proposal writing was held for CARF project leaders and selected potential applicants in Phnom Penh from 22-29 January 2003. The course aimed to assist participants in developing and submitting proposals and in publicising the CARF scheme among Cambodian research providers. A joint combination workshop/training exercise was conducted at CARDI during the period 29-31 January 2003.

For the second funding round, the CARF Panel received 17 proposals submitted by different organizations/institutions. The project leader provided help in mentoring Cambodian scientists developing proposals through two visits to Cambodia prior to the project submission date. The following project applications were successful:

- Identification and development of heat tolerant and multiple disease resistant tomato cultivars for Cambodian farmers (Ouk Makara, CARDI, 3 years)

- Development and dissemination of high yielding and locally adapted maize for sustainable food security in Cambodia (Sakhan Sophany, CARDI, 3 years)

- Nutrient and crop residue management for sustainable double-cropping on sandy soils under rainfed lowland conditions of Cambodia (Pheav Sovuthy, CARDI, 3 years)

- Research on feed composition for small-scale aquaculture in Kampong Speu Province (Hok Sen Samphea, RUA, 2 years)

- Assessment of vegetable production potential on Prey Khmer Soil in Kamchai Mear District, Prey Veng Province (Pin Vanarro, MVU, 1 year)

- The use of cassava leaf silage as a potential protein supplement for cattle in smallholder production in Cambodia (Seng Sokerya, UTA, 2 years).

In November 2003, a symposium was held at the Sunway Hotel in Phnom Penh. At this symposium, leaders of current CARF projects gave brief presentations in English on the progress and plans of their project. The symposium had the aims of:
- providing an experience for the project leaders in making a presentation on their project in English,
- raising the profile of CARF in senior Cambodian circles and
- attracting the interest of other donors.
There were 53 attendees, including an opening by the Australian Ambassador and the Secretary of State for Agriculture. Steps towards institutionalising CARF have proceeded slower than planned. There is a draft sub-decree establishing a Cambodian Agricultural Research Council in front of the assembly, but with the elections mid-year and the on-going uncertainty about government composition it has not yet been debated.
A course on introduction to experimental design and analysis, modern PC-based data handling and statistical methods was held in Phnom Penh (at CARDI) in early November 2003 by staff from the University of Western Australia and Agriculture WA. There were 23 attendees, and all were from institutions involved in CARF projects.
The third meeting of the CARF project selection committee was held in Phnom Penh on 30 March, 2004. There were 14 applications for this round and applications significantly exceeded funds available, indicating that there is healthy competition for funding. The panel decided to support the following 7 projects:
- Further investigation on the relationship between fertiliser regimes and vegetable production (Pin Vannaro, MVU, one and a half years)
- Crop Management for sustainable upland crop farming (Om Sothy, CARDI, 3 years).
- Identification of second alternative crops following rice using zero tillage (Khim Channy, World Vision Cambodia, with collaboration from CARDI, 3 years).
- Soybean and mungbean improvement for Cambodian farmers (Heang Dany, CARDI, 3 years).
- Fish and rice management system to enable agricultural diversification (Preap Visarto, CARDI, 3 years).
- Ideal Fertilizer rates for soil types in Sre Ambal, Koh Kong Province (Uch Samphan, American Friends Service Committee, with collaboration from CARDI, 2 years).
- Research and extension of Babodes altus, Trigogaster pectoralis, Barbodes gonionotus raising technology. in Kg Thom Province (Chea Mong, RUA, 1 year).
This has continued to enable involvement of a wide range partner organisations in CARF projects, including two NGOs.
The mid-term review of the CARDI-Assistance Project, of which CARF forms a part, was conducted in Phnom Penh between 14 and 25 June 2004. The review team has proposed that aspects of the remainder of the CARDI-AP project be redesigned to enhance CARDI’s progress towards financial sustainability. This will be achieved through (CARF-like) projects receiving support having objectives consistent with CARDI-AP’s purpose in five Focus Areas that are critical to CARDI. The first one of these will be Research Project Management (based on existing and new CARDI research projects).
A biometrician from CSIRO Plant Industry (Perth) undertook a second visit to Cambodia between 6-18 June 2004 to spend one-on-one time with leaders of all CARF projects as well as selected CARDI project leaders. In an interim report he noted that applying the principles they teach in formal group courses on a one-on-one basis to CARF project leaders own project work made the issues much more real for them and was a very valuable way to augment the formal training. In many cases the course covered areas that were far more advanced than normally discussed in the course because this was demanded by the designs being used, and types of data that are being recorded by the researchers. All CARF project leaders supported the suggestion of the possibility of a second, return visit of a statistician for one-to-one consultations on experimental design and analysis.
CARF project leader, Dr Seng Vang (Manager, Soils and Water Sciences Program), Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute received a prestigious John Dillon Memorial Fellowship to provide training in research management. He spent 6 weeks in Australia in February-March 2004 undertaking formal training in management at Mt Eliza business school, as well as mentoring in research management systems through a structured series of visits to ACIAR, CSIRO Land and Water, Canberra, Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines, Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, University of Queensland and NSW Agriculture, Tamworth.

The fourth meeting of the CARF project selection committee was held in Phnom Penh on 22 March, 2005 with the biggest pool of applications received (36), which shows that interest in Cambodian-run competitive grants is strong. Because both AusAID and ACIAR offered additional funds for the scheme all of the high quality applications were able to be funded.
Once again the applications came from a wide range of organisations and this has continued to enable involvement of a wide range of partner organisations in CARF projects, including further NGOs. A particular feature of this round was investment in a number of activities at DAALI, building on the FAO and Danida investment in integrated pest management and activities in crops areas at the Royal University, linking to a new GTZ-funded faculty development program.
Projects selected (round 4) were:
- Promotion of Dragon fruit (Red Pitaya: Hylocereus var.) cultivation experiments and sustainable propagation of planting material (Vung Setha, RUA, 3 years).
- The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in the Cambodian context (Chuong Solphal, RUA, 3 years).
- Experimentation on high nutrition, low cost, fish foods for domestic freshwater pond fish farming (Tauch Chenda, APHEDA, 2 years).
- Improvement of cattle nutrition by the introduction of appropriate forages in Kamchai Mear, Prey Veng Province (Pin Vannaro, MVU, 2 years).
- Study on the Infestation of Coconut Hispine Beetle and its Biological Control (Heng Chhunh Hy, DAALI, 3 years).
- Production and use of local parasites to control Diamondback moth (DBM) on cruciferous crops in Cambodia (Ing Sina, DAALI, 2 years).
- Identification of Banana cultural practices, cultivation management, prospective for production improvement and growers’ income (Sakhan Sophany & Chea Sareth, CARDI, 3 years).
- Trends in Productivity and Nutrient Dynamics under Improved Soil Nutrient Management Techniques for Rice in the Rainfed Lowlands of Cambodia (Seng Vang, CARDI, 3 years).
- Improvement of Watermelon for Cambodian Farmers (Pith Khon Hel, CARDI, 3 years).
- Post-harvest losses Reduction Of rice damage due to rats and insect pests in Cambodian Environment (Preap Visarto, CARDI, 3 years).
- Improving rice grain quality by controlled drying of paddy (Som Bunna, CARDI, 2 years).
- Study of women’s power in agricultural management in Kg Svay District, Kg Thom Province (student project) (Chhuon Soklang, RUA, 6 months).
- A study of the effect of fruit dropping on postharvest quality of ‘Keochen’ mango (student project) (Pak Sokbora, RUA, 6 months).
- The promotion of cultivation of saprophytic edible mushroom and the development of sustainable spawn supply (Cheang Hong, RUA, 2.5 years)
- Seed Production by Semi-Artificial Breeding of Snake Skin Gourami (Trichogaster pectoralis) in Svay Rieng Province (Phan Ra, RUA, 1 year).
- Technology transfer to the farming community in Kg Thom Province - breeding and nursery technologies for Babodes altus and Trigogaster petoralis (Chea Mong, RUA, 1 year).
- Banana Improvement for Cambodian Farmers (Sakhan Sophany & Chea Sareth, CARDI, 3 years).
- Extension of technique of fish nutrition utilization for small-scale aquaculture in Kg Speu province (Hok Sen Samphea, RUA, 1 year).
- Assess of improved rice production technology in Stung Trang District of Kg Cham Province (Tich Bunchhoeun, KCNSA, 3 years).
- Improvement of ground pea (groundnut) management and production through farmers participatory research (Men Sokuntheary, PLNSA, 2 years).

In mid-2005 CARDI, with support of other Cambodian R&D agencies, requested that ACIAR support re-starting the Cambodian Journal of Agriculture as a vehicle for publishing results of CARF projects and of other research carried out in Cambodia. It had last been published in 2002 after 5 issues had been produced, starting in 2000. ACIAR agreed to commit to support of publication for 3 years, and to provide training in managing the publication of a scientific journal. CSIRO publish was contracted for the latter task, and the first issue was published in early 2006 after the in-country training had been carried out.

Monitoring of active projects and one-on-one mentoring in research design and analysis of results took place through two visits to Cambodia by consultant Dr John Schiller. A meeting of project leaders and a major symposium on CARF was held in Cambodia in May 2006. It was opened by the Australian Ambassador and Secretary of State.

An external review of CARF took place in Cambodia between May 3 and 12, 2006. Reviewers were Mr Mak Soeun, Deputy Director, Department of Planning and Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, Phnom Penh, Cambodia (who has central policy and donor coordination roles in the agriculture ministry) and Mr Bryan Gorddard, Albany, Western Australia (former senior executive in WA Agriculture and University of WA, extensive experience in research and extension institutional policies and capacity building in SE Asia).

The review concluded that “CARF has delivered a comprehensive training program including the writing of research proposals, problem definition and biometry followed by individual support and coaching for over 100 scientists. CARF has operated with relatively low transaction costs, despite the intensive in-country support provided. The overall administration of the Trust Fund has been of a high order. Projects are chosen against rigorous criteria, and funds are disbursed and acquitted directly to project accounts from ACIAR, Canberra through mandatory six-monthly and completion reports. ACIAR has gone to some lengths to encourage applications from a wide array of Cambodian partners, with projects funded in CARDI (14 projects), four educational institutions (19), two government departments (3) and four NGOs (6). Project documentation has been voluminous and meticulous, and liaison arrangements with Cambodian institutions and scientists have attracted much favourable comment from those institutions. Projects are required to provide six-monthly progress reports and a final report. Only one project has failed to meet these requirements, due to the impacts of avian influenza on collaborating villages.

Most CARF proponents have made serious and commendable efforts to engage with communities, to articulate their proposals with the highest priority needs of farmers and their farming systems. The CARF approach appears to have enjoyed particular success in helping to build research experience and skills in institutions new to research, including several NGO projects. The CARF grants have also helped to build partnerships between scientists and institutions and have shown an important potential to catalyse interest and co-contributions from other donors. Importantly, the competitive nature and small size of the CARF grants provide opportunities for new players to demonstrate their capacity in research, and to identify research talent that may be obscured in a larger project. The importance of CARF in providing a mechanism for institutions and young research staff to access operational funds was stressed by all Cambodian participants.

The overwhelming impression of CARF is the high level of acceptance generated within the institutions of a competitive funding system for research, and the willingness of Cambodian counterparts to meet the stringent standards, comply with external guidelines, and accept the scientific criticisms to which this process has exposed them and to manage the requisite reporting, financial and acquittal processes. This new (for Cambodia) experience has clearly resulted in marked improvements in the competence and confidence of researchers of all ages and levels of experience in translating their ideas and hypotheses into fundable experiments /projects. The reviewers were impressed by the overall standard of the proposals and reporting, with several institutions delivering high quality reports and presentations.

Overall, CARF has demonstrated very clearly the benefits that can be generated through the leverage of a well-managed small grants scheme through quite small amounts of funding. However, most CARF projects will have very great difficulty in maintaining their momentum without ongoing external (donor) support. Even within CARDI, funding for research is quite limited at the margin, and the smaller institutions and NGOs are particularly disadvantaged in this respect. CARF has been attempting to build Cambodian capacity in the formulation of research programs through its training program and general mentoring of applicants. However this remains an area of general weakness, along with experimental design, statistics, basic agricultural economic analysis and marketing.

An important feature of CARF has been an expectation that it would, over time, encourage other donors to contribute to the trust fund, and potentially lead to the institutionalization of the Trust Fund under RGC administration. CARF has been managed very largely within ACIAR, which has been necessary in a low-budget, pilot project of this type. While CARF has developed a cost-effective system for management of the small-grant fund, there has been no capacity built within RGC to take over or continue the administration or funding of the scheme. Nor was this ever the purpose of CARF, but CARF has demonstrated that a competitive research funding system is practical, acceptable and effective in Cambodia. However, if it is to evolve into a national system, the CARF model would need to be further developed to incorporate the lessons from local experience and from similar programs elsewhere. It would also need to become fully institutionalised within RGC as a Cambodian, not an Australian or donor-managed program, and be managed so as to attract government, donor and private-sector funds.”

The CARF review was discussed with AusAID who indicated that they were considering inclusion of a major competitive research and extension component within their new Cambodian agricultural program. However, AusAID indicated that significant design work for the program was required so that it was unlikely that a final decision on how a successor funding program fits into such a scheme would be made until late 2007 (and thus it would be unlikely that any scheme, if approved, would be able to start until mid-2008). The possibility of interim ACIAR support for CARF was raised by the Cambodian side in discussions with AusAID staff and the Ambassador during the July 2006 ACIAR Board visit to Cambodia. Following this, ACIAR agreed to fund two further rounds of CARF projects, based on applications submitted in late 2006 and late 2007.

The fifth meeting of the CARF project selection committee was held in Phnom Penh on 12 January 2007 with the biggest pool of applications received (50), which shows that interest in CARF remained very strong. 14 projects were able to be funded, and the projects all started in the March-June 2006 period.
Projects selected (round 5) were:

- Assessment of postharvest loss and its economic significance for non-rice crops in upland areas of Cambodia (Som Bunna, CARDI, 3 years)

- Assessing Nitrogen management options for rice production in the rainfed lowland systems of Cambodia (Seng Vang, CARDI 3 years)

- Reducing the risk of growing rainfed upland crops in Cambodia (Pin Tara, CARDI, 3 years)

- Assessing soil property changes under cassava production in the upland farming systems of Cambodia (Ngeth Sivutha, CARDI, 3 years)

- Enhancement of farmers’ knowledge and skill in pest management on leguminous crops in Cambodian upland condition (Pol Chanthy, CARDI, 3 years)

- Minimising water use and labour inputs in dry season and early wet season rice production (Khun Leang Hak, CARDI, 3 years)

- An assessment of production potential (production and economics) of seasonal vegetable production (Ing Sina, DAALI, 3 years)

- Continued studies on the potential of improved pastures for improving the productivity of cattle raising in Prey Veng province (Pin Vannaro, MVU, 3 years)

- Occurrence of cashew pests in Cambodia and their control (Sip Pagnasoley, RUA, 3 years)

- The effect of breed difference on growth performance, carcass traits, and consumer preferences, of pigs slaughtered for Phnom Penh consumers (Vathana Sann, RUA 2 years)

- IPM of citrus in Banorn district, Battambang (student project) (Tho Kim Eang, RUA, 6 months)

- Value-adding to rice for enhancement of agro-enterprise development and poverty reduction in Cambodia (Touch Visalsok, RUA, 3 years)

- Improving seed production capacity and promotion of freshwater prawn farming in Cambodia (Chhouk Borin, RUA, 2 years)

- Small-scale hatchery and aquaculture development in Svay Reing province (Mr Khov Kuong, RUA, one and a half years)

Monitoring of active projects and one-on-one mentoring on the development of proposals continued through three visits to Cambodia by consultant Dr John Schiller. In June 2007, Drs Schiller and Anderson (CSIRO Publishing) visited Cambodia to assist with the Cambodian Journal of Agriculture. As of June 2007, three issues of the re-launched journal had been published. A course on experimental design, data management and analysis conducted by the University of Queensland was held in Cambodia in early February 2007. In Cambodia, the course was held at the Cambodia Agricultural R&D Institute headquarters for 21 attendees.

Financial support for 11 new projects was approved under the CARF-6 round of funding, for a total value of approximately US$230,000:

CARDI’s released rice varieties: an assessment of their socio-economic impact and adoption (Dr El Sotheary, CARDI, 2 years)
Evaluation of crop seeding techniques and their economic impact in upland areas of Cambodia (Dr Som Bunna, CARDI, 3 years)
Reduction of losses of rice grain during storage (Dr Meas Pyseth, IRRI/ CARDI, 3 years)
Optimising rice yields by enhancing the adoption of improved soil nutrient management techniques in the rainfed lowlands (Dr Seng Vang, CARDI, 3 years)
Establishment of leucaena as a forage supplement for smallholder cattle production in Kandal province (Dr Seng Mom, RUA, 3 years)
Prolongation of the shelf-life of soya milk produced by small-scale processors by using multiple hurdle technologies (Mr Hout Chanthy, RUA, 2.5 years)
Mushroom production technology dissemination (Dr Chheang Hong, RUA, 2 years)
Reduction of postharvest losses of fresh oranges in Battambang province (Mr Bunthong Borarin, RUA, 2 years)
The production and economics of returns from short duration maize varieties in rice-based production systems (Mr Kong Samoeun, DAALI, 3 years
Improving smallholder cattle production by introducing improved forages in Kandal province (Dr Chan Bory and Mr Din Kimsrean, PLNSA, 3 years)
On-farm assessment of the potential of low cost diets for freshwater pond fish farming (Mr Thai Chheng Mao, APHEDA, 2 years)

CARF consultant, Dr John Schiller visited Cambodia in August 2007, October 2007 and June 2008. The August visit was undertaken to visit and advise Cambodian institutions, of the availability of funding support for a 6th round of CARF and to advise them of the funding guidelines. The October 2007 visit was primarily to provide opportunities for proposed CARF-6 research leaders to discuss aspects of their proposals, before submission (the closing date for the receipt of proposal submissions being 2 December 2007). The June 2008 visit was to monitor the commencement of round 6 projects and progress of active projects from rounds 4 and 5, and to provide technical assistance to groups in data analysis and preparation of papers for publication. Three additional Cambodian universities which have agriculture-related programs (Royal University of Phnom Penh, Mean Chey University (Bantay Mean Chey Province), and Battambang University) were asked to be briefed on the CARF program and on future opportunities for making submissions for CARF funded research proposals.

Three issues of the Cambodian Journal of Agriculture have been published since the commencement of ACIAR support in 2006 while a fourth, containing papers presented at a workshop held in late 2007 on upland crop production and marketing, has been finalised for printing in August 2008. Articles are also on hand for part of the fifth and final issue to be published within the terms of the current agreement on ACIAR support. There is a general consensus among Cambodian institutions that continued Australian (ACIAR and/or AusAID) support for the continued publication of the CJA, is in the interests of Cambodian agricultural research generally. It was also acknowledged by the Cambodians met with that CARDI is still the most appropriate institution to continue to take responsibility for publication of the CJA.

In mid-2007, during a visit to Canberra, Secretary of State of the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Chan Tong Yves requested that ACIAR convene a consultation workshop to discuss future priorities for cooperation. Since it has been planned that the future ACIAR and AusAID CAVAC programs be closely linked, the two agencies and the Cambodian government agreed to use the workshop for joint priority setting for the ACIAR and CAVAC research programs (including CARF activities as well as larger projects).

The workshop, which was held on 5-6 February in Phnom Penh was opened by Australian Ambassador Margaret Adamson and Secretary of State Chan Tong Yves. There were about 90 participants, including representatives of the National Ministries of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Water Resources and Meteorology and Commerce; Provincial Departments of Agriculture and Water Resources and Meteorology; universities and agricultural colleges; non-government organizations, private sector and other donors.

However, an additionals value of the workshop was the interaction between the different Cambodian groups. The workshop focussed on establishing priorities for research cooperation in field and horticultural crop systems, including production, protection, processing and marketing and related water and soil management issues. Agreed priority areas for the 2008-2013 period are summarized elsewhere on the ACIAR website.
A major ($ 50 m) new Australian-Cambodian Agricultural Value Chain Program (CAVAC) is under development. Although there have been several delays, it is hoped that its design will be completed in September 2008. CAVAC comprises four closely-interlinked programs as follows:
1. Agribusiness Development, which plans to enhance the capacity of agribusiness to support the development of rice-based farming systems, with strengthened partnerships between various value chain participants.
2. Water Management, which plans to improve water management, thus underpinning the ability of farmers to participate in selected value chains.
3. Research & Extension. Planned outcomes are Quality, market-relevant research conducted with results effectively communicated to end-users and improved market-relevant technologies and production practices being applied by farmers.
4. Business Enabling Environment. An improved business enabling environment will facilitate the development of target value chains.
ACIAR has been closely involved in the design of the CAVAC program over the last 18 months. As part of the research and extension component design, it is planned for CARF to continue for a further 4 years, and options for its national institutionalisation to be explored during that time. It is hoped that CAVAC can formally commence before the end of 2008, with a new CARF project selection round opening at that time.

The CARF program continued under the new Cambodian Agricultural Value Chain Program funded by AusAID (CAVAC) which comprises four closely-interlinked programs as follows:
Agribusiness Development, which plans to enhance the capacity of agribusiness to support the development of rice-based farming systems, with strengthened partnerships between various value chain participants.
Water Management, which plans to improve water management, thus underpinning the ability of farmers to participate in selected value chains.
Research & Extension. Planned outcomes are Quality, market-relevant research conducted with results effectively communicated to end-users and improved market-relevant technologies and production practices being applied by farmers.
Business Enabling Environment. An improved business enabling environment will facilitate the development of target value chains.

As part of the research and extension component, it is planned for CARF to continue for a further 4 years, and options for its national institutionalization to be furether explored during that time.
A seventh round of CARF proposals was called for in March 2009, and the selection panel met in late May. Drs John Schiller and Craig Meisner provided advice and some assistance to proponents in drafting the proposals. All proposals were independently reviewed by two anonymous reviewers - generally one of whom was Cambodian and one an international specialist in the field. An expanded CARF panel, comprising agribusiness, extension and research expertise assessed the proposals. This year, there were a total of 26 proposals submitted to CARF. Each proposal was evaluated and scored by independent Cambodian and international reviewers. Scores were given based on quality and merit of each proposal in four different categories, including capacity of the Cambodian scientists and their institutions to implement the project effectively, quality of the proposed project, value for the money and finally project design.
Eleven proposals were selected for funding after modification based on reviewers and panel comments
CEDAC 205 Study on rice market chain in Takeo and Kompot provinces Mr YIM Sok Sophon 1 year
CARDI 206 Participatory Selection of Waxy maize Cultivars for Cambodian Farmers Ms SAKHAN Sophany 3 years
IDE 207 A simple tool for improved on-farm irrigation scheduling Mr SIENG Kan 2 years
CARDI 211 Enhancement of Farmers’ knowledge and skill of pest management on Tomato crops in Cambodian. Dr KHAY Sathya 3 years
GDA 212 Study of seed method and seed rate for direct seeded irrigated rice Mr KONG Kea 3 years
GRET 215 Research on Pest Identification and Management on Kampot pepper (“PIM-Pepper”) Identify the Harmful Insects and Diseases on Black pepper Plantation and Pest management Mr MEAS Chanty 1 year
RUA 221 Farmer’s perspective in using water at Stung Chinit Irrigation Reservoir (SCIR) Mr KAN Ponhrith 1 year
CARDI 222 Increasing banana production in Cambodia through tissue culture Ms THUN Vathany 3 years
GDA 223 The Fruit Flies in Mango Management in Cambodia Mr MEAN Chetna 3.5 years
GDA 224 Research for Best management of BPH in Cambodia Mr LY Sereivuth 3 years
RUA 225 Supplement forage legume to increase pig production of small holder farmer in Takeo Province Dr SENG Mom 2 years
All applicants (successful and unsuccessful) received a letter of feedback from the CARF office (ACIAR-CAVAC), based on the discussions at the panel meeting, referees reports and budget checks. Funding for Round 7 is mainly being provided by CAVAC, with ACIAR providing additional support for ACIAR Canberra staff time in scheme management. ACIAR is additionally providing about $ 650,000 for on-going (CARF 4, 5, 6) projects. Summaries of these projects are available at the ACIAR website and will be posted to the CAVAC website once it is active. The projects are monitored in-country through regular visits of Dr John Schiller, but the Phnom Penh based CAVAC-ACIAR staff have adopted an increasing role.

Project Outcomes

The Fund supports (or has supported) the following projects:
Round 1 (2002 selection round)
Reduction of postharvest losses of rice grain (Mr Meas Pyseth, CARDI, 2 years)
Enhancement of ecologically-based rodent management (Mr Preap Visarto, CARDI, 2 years)
Field trial with thermostable Newcastle disease … (Mr Sorn San, Department of Animal Health and Production, 2 years)
Optimisation of tubular plastic biodigesters in integrated farming systems (Mr San Thy, University of Tropical Agriculture, 2 years)
Mulberry and pig production in integrated farming systems (Mr Chiv Phiny, University of Tropical Agriculture, 2 years)
Improvement of maize management and production through farmers participatory research (Mr Meng Sokhon, School of Agriculture Prek Leap, 2 years)
Silage production for small-scale cattle keeping (Mr Ny Dina, School of Agriculture Prek Leap, 1 year)
Dissemination of knowledge on species preferences and aquaculture constraints in Takeo province (Mr Kong Svansay, Royal University of Agriculture, 1 year)
A preliminary study of the potential of aquaculture development in Svay Chor Cheb … (Ms Chhim Rumuny, Royal University of Agriculture, 6 months)

Round 2 (2003 selection round)
Identification and development of heat tolerant and multiple disease resistant tomato cultivars for Cambodian farmers (Mr Ouk Makara, CARDI, 3 years)
Development and dissemination of high yielding and locally adapted maize for sustainable food security in Cambodia (Mrs Sakhan Sophany, CARDI, 3 years)
Nutrient and crop residue management for sustainable double-cropping on sandy soils under rainfed lowland conditions of Cambodia ( Dr Pheav Sovuthy, CARDI, 3 years)
Research on feed composition for small-scale aquaculture in Kampong Speu Province (Hok Sen Samphea, Royal University of Agriculture, 2 years)
Assessment of vegetable production potential on Prey Khmer Soil in Kamchai Mear District, Prey Veng Province (Pin Vanarro, Maharashi Vedic University, 1 year)
The use of cassava leaf silage as a potential protein supplement for cattle in smallholder production in Cambodia (Seng Sokerya, University of Tropical Agriculture, 2 years)

Round 3 (2004 selection round)
Further investigation on the relationship between fertiliser regimes and vegetable production. (Pin Vannaro, Maharishi Vedic University, 2 years)
Crop Management for sustainable upland crop farming (Om Sothy, CARDI, 3 years)
Identification of second alternative crops following rice using zero tillage (Khim Channy, World Vision Cambodia, with collaboration from CARDI, 3 years)
Soybean and mungbean improvement for Cambodian farmers (Heang Dany, CARDI, 3 years)
Fish and rice management system to enable agricultural diversification (Preap Visarto, CARDI, 3 years)
Ideal Fertilizer rates for soil types in Sre Ambal, Koh Kong Province (Uch Samphan, American Friends Service Committee, with collaboration from CARDI, 2 years)
Research and extension of Babodes altus, Trigogaster pectoralis, Barbodes gonionotus raising technology in Kampong Thom Province” (Chea Mong, Royal University of Agriculture, 1.5 years)

Several of the projects have strong links to ACIAR projects in Cambodia, but provide a complementary component that is Cambodian led and for which Cambodian scientists are responsible for reporting.

Round 4 (2005 selection round)
Promotion of Dragon fruit (Red Pitaya: Hylocereus var.) cultivation experiments and sustainable propagation of planting material (Mr Vung Setha, RUA, 3 years).
The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in the Cambodian context (Mr Chuong Solphal, RUA, 3 years).
Experimentation on high nutrition, low cost, fish foods for domestic freshwater pond fish farming (Mr Tauch Chenda, APHEDA, 2 years).
Improvement of cattle nutrition by the introduction of appropriate forages in Kamchai Mear, Prey Veng Province (Mr Pin Vannaro, MVU, 2 years).
Study on the Infestation of Coconut Hispine Beetle and its Biological Control (Mr Heng Chhunh Hy, DAALI, 3 years).
Production and use of local parasites to control Diamondback moth (DBM) on cruciferous crops in Cambodia (Mr Ing Sina, DAALI, 2 years).
Identification of Banana cultural practices, cultivation management, prospective for production improvement and growers’ income (Ms Sakhan Sophany & Mr Chea Sareth, CARDI, 3 years).
Trends in Productivity and Nutrient Dynamics under Improved Soil Nutrient Management Techniques for Rice in the Rainfed Lowlands of Cambodia (Dr Seng Vang, CARDI, 3 years).
Improvement of Watermelon for Cambodian Farmers (Mr Pith Khon Hel, CARDI, 3 years).
Post-harvest losses Reduction Of rice damage due to rats and insect pests in Cambodian Environment (Dr Preap Visarto, CARDI, 3 years).
Improving rice grain quality by controlled drying of paddy ( Mr Som Bunna, CARDI, 2 years).
Study of women’s power in agricultural management in Kg Svay District, Kg Thom Province (student project) (Ms Chhuon Soklang, RUA, 6 months).
A study of the effect of fruit dropping on postharvest quality of ‘Keochen’ mango (student project) (Mr Pak Sokbora, RUA, 6 months).
The promotion of cultivation of saprophytic edible mushroom and the development of sustainable spawn supply (Dr Cheang Hong, RUA, 2.5years)
Seed Production by Semi-Artificial Breeding of Snake Skin Gourami (Trichogaster pectoralis) in Svay Rieng Province. (Mr Phan Ra, RUA, 1 year).
Technology transfer to the farming community in Kg Thom Province - breeding and nursery technologies for Babodes altus and Trigogaster petoralis (Mr Chea Mong, RUA, 1 year).
Banana Improvement for Cambodian Farmers (Ms Sakhan Sophany & Mr Chea Sareth, CARDI, 3 years).
Extension of technique of fish nutrition utilization for small-scale aquaculture in Kg Speu province (Mr Hok Sen Samphea, RUA, 1 year).
Assess of improved rice production technology in Stung Trang District of Kg Cham Province (Mr Tich Bunchhoeun, KCNSA, 3 years).
Improvement of ground pea (groundnut) management and production through farmers participatory research (Ms Men Sokuntheary, PLNSA, 2 years).

Round 5 (2007 selection round)
Assessment of postharvest loss and its economic significance for non-rice crops in upland areas of Cambodia (Som Bunna, CARDI, 3 years)
Assessing Nitrogen management options for rice production in the rainfed lowland systems of Cambodia (Seng Vang, CARDI 3 years)
Reducing the risk of growing rainfed upland crops in Cambodia (Pin Tara, CARDI, 3 years)
Assessing soil property changes under cassava production in the upland farming systems of Cambodia (Ngeth Sivutha, CARDI, 3 years)
Enhancement of farmers’ knowledge and skill in pest management on leguminous crops in Cambodian upland condition (Pol Chanthy, CARDI, 3 years)
Minimising water use and labour inputs in dry season and early wet season rice production (Khun Leang Hak, CARDI, 3 years)
An assessment of production potential (production and economics) of seasonal vegetable production (Ing Sina, DAALI, 3 years)
Continued studies on the potential of improved pastures for improving the productivity of cattle raising in Prey Veng province (Pin Vannaro, MVU, 3 years)
Occurrence of cashew pests in Cambodia and their control (Sip Pagnasoley, RUA, 3 years)
The effect of breed difference on growth performance, carcass traits, and consumer preferences, of pigs slaughtered for Phnom Penh consumers (Vathana Sann, RUA 2 years)
IPM of citrus in Banorn district, Battambang (student project) (Tho Kim Eang, RUA, 6 months)
Value-adding to rice for enhancement of agro-enterprise development and poverty reduction in Cambodia (Touch Visalsok, RUA, 3 years)
Improving seed production capacity and promotion of freshwater prawn farming in Cambodia (Chhouk Borin, RUA, 2 years)
Small-scale hatchery and aquaculture development in Svay Reing province (Mr Khov Kuong, RUA, one and a half years)

Project ID
ASEM/2003/007
Project Country
Inactive project countries
Commissioned Organisation
Consultant, Australia
Project Leader
Dr John Schiller
Email
j.schiller@uq.edu.au
Phone
07 3346 9150
Fax
07 3365 1188
Collaborating Institutions
Cambodia Agricultural Research and Development Institute, Cambodia
Royal University of Agriculture, Cambodia
Department of Agronomy and Agricultural Land Improvement, Cambodia
Department of Animal Health and Production, Cambodia
University of Tropical Agriculture, Cambodia
Maraheshi Vedic University, Cambodia
Prek Leap National School of Agricullture, Cambodia
Kampong Cham National School of Agriculture, Cambodia
World Vision, Cambodia
Centre for Livestock adn Agriculture Development, Cambodia
American Friends Service Committee, Cambodia
Union Aid Abroad, Cambodia
Project Budget
$1,279,628.00
Start Date
01/03/2002
Finish Date
30/06/2006
Extension Start Date
01/07/2006
Extension Finish Date
30/06/2011
ACIAR Research Program Manager
Dr John Skerritt