Soil and Land Management

Land suitability assessment and site specific soil management for Cambodian uplands

Researchers in the field
Project code
AUD 2,300,000
Research program manager
Dr James Quilty
Project leader
Wendy Vance - Murdoch University
NOV 2017
DEC 2022
Project status
Legally committed/Active
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This project is improving soil management in selected upland farming systems of southwest and southeast Cambodia to increase yields and returns for diverse crop options. 

In Cambodia, more than one quarter of the country’s 3 million ha of uplands is used by smallholder farmers, providing food security and livelihoods. High agricultural prices have driven agricultural growth and farmland expansion in recent decades. 

The Cambodian government recognises that expanding cultivation into unused or degraded land is not environmentally sustainable and has prioritised intensification, improved yields and diversification of cropping in areas where upland farming is under development. 

In these rainfed uplands, crop yields and profits are vulnerable to low soil fertility, drought conditions and fluctuating markets. Cost-effective, site-specific soil and land management technologies need to be developed to promote sustainable and profitable farm businesses in the uplands and to minimise the risk of production losses and soil degradation. 

Characterising and mapping constraints and determining land suitability is a critical enabling technology for improved field crop production in upland areas.  

Expected project outcomes

  • Farmers recognise soil types and constraints to crop production on their farms and adopt suitable management strategies to overcome these constraints.
  • Extension practitioners use knowledge and tools developed by the project to promote and assist farmers to implement improved soil management practices.
  • Project partners use land suitability assessment and site-specific land management practices in their ongoing programmes.
  • Project partners use newly acquired expertise to continue assessment of soil and landscape resources across upland regions of Cambodia.
  • The expanded soil and landscape database and CASC used by stakeholders to improve intensification and diversification of crop production in upland regions.
  • Increased capacity of stakeholders to identify and manage upland soils, facilitating better decision-making regarding crop selection and land management practices. 
Key partners
Cambodia Agricultural Research and Development Institute
Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia
Royal University of Agriculture
fact sheet placeholder image
Fact sheet SMCN/2016/237