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Mechanization and value adding for diversification of lowland cropping systems in Lao PDR and Cambodia

This project aims to identify mechanisation options and post-harvest technologies to enhance household livelihoods and food security in lowland rice-growing areas.
Cambodia and Laos share problems of widespread rural poverty, food insecurity, and malnutrition. Rainfed lowland rice, grown once a year in the wet season, is the backbone of agricultural production, but is largely subsistence-oriented with low productivity, delivering low-quality rice to local consumers. Growing quality rice and non-rice crops would increase household income and reduce rural poverty.
This project will use a systems approach, integrating mechanised cropping practices, (including combine harvesting) and post-harvest practices (in particular artificial dryers) which together increase the intensification, potential for diversification, the labour efficiency of the cropping system, and the market value of the produce.
The project in Laos will develop strategies for introducing suitable mechanisation and postharvest technologies, while in Cambodia the project will monitor already mechanised harvesting practices and develop grain drying techniques that improve physical grain quality and cropping systems that take advantage of mechanised harvesting operations.