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Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sustainable Intensification

Center of Excellence on Sustainable Agricultural Intensification and Nutrition in Cambodia

Overview, Vision, and Objectives Farmers

The Center of Excellence on Sustainable Agricultural Intensification and Nutrition (CE SAIN) – housed in Cambodia’s Royal University of Agriculture – helps improve food and nutritional security in Cambodia by supporting agricultural research and education and also fostering innovation. CE SAIN works closely with the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) to improve the skills and knowledge of public and private sector agricultural workers. 

The Center’s goal is to serve as an entity that fosters private sector innovation, agricultural research, education and training, and public sector capacity building through improved collaboration and knowledge sharing that is focused on improving food and nutritional security while enhancing quality of soil, water and biodiversity.

 CE SAIN’s three core objectives are:
  1. Coordinate and leverage Innovation Labs and other USAID-funded SAIN activities.
  2. Build human and institutional capacity of the RUA.
  3. Establish Technology Parks to showcase high-potential technologies and strategies to sustainably intensify smallholder farming systems.

Engaging Innovation Labs

Six Feed the Future Innovation Labs (ILs) are currently engaged in Cambodia, including: Sustainable Intensification, Horticulture, Integrated Pest Management, AquaFish, Nutrition, and Livestock Systems. The common goal of the ILs is to conduct research and build capacity to address food and nutritional security in Cambodia. The ILs partner with local academic institutions, government, and farmers to pilot promising technologies to get them ready for wider introduction by private sector, development partners and the government.

CE SAIN plays a key role in coordinating projects that are being implemented by Innovation Labs and enhancing the development of best practices on sustainable agricultural intensification and nutrition (SAIN) through technological interventions, agricultural research, and an innovative model farming system to be utilized in extension activities. 

Technology Parks

CE SAIN has established five Technology Parks in the following locations: RUA in Phnom Penh, Bos Knor station in the Kampong Cham province, Reasmey Sophornna High School in the Kampong Thom province, Toek Vil Agricultural Research Station in the Siem Reap province, and the Research and Training Farm at the University of Battambang (UBB). These Technology Parks showcase high-potential technologies and strategies to sustainably intensify smallholders’ production systems.

The Technology Parks demonstrate promising technologies and production methods to attract private sector participation within research and farmer networks. The Technology Parks are also a focal point to organize innovation fairs, field days, and workshops to engage all actors along the agricultural value chain from government workers, farmers, to agribusinesses. Four of the five Technology Parks are located in farming communities.

In addition to showcasing SAIN best practices, the Technology Parks also serve as a/an:

  • Learning platform: CE SAIN organizes field days to demonstrate promising technologies and strategies that are profitable for smallholder farmers. The CE SAIN Technology Parks feature a farming systems model that can be adopted by smallholders in the area. The model demonstrates various promising technologies and strategies based on the local context to showcase best management practices of agriculture.
  • Research farm: Scientists, researchers and interested stakeholders can visit and test their new innovations in the Technology Parks with cooperation and support from CE SAIN and RUA.
  • Internship venue: The students of RUA and other relevant universities who study agriculture can access the Parks for their internship program and final thesis development.
  • Synergy program with USAID-funded partners: The parks are open for interested USAID-funded partners to engage with CE SAIN.
  • Private sector engagement platform:The Technology Parks are available for private sector collaborators to test new innovations, researching and demonstrating technologies and equipment that have the potential to increase yields and income for smallholder farmers in the area while enhancing ecosystem services.