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K-State Today

February 7, 2023

K-State Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab partners with Cambodian university to create center of excellence, launch Agricultural Technology Park

Submitted by Layne Davis

There's a new agricultural technology park in Cambodia thanks to a center of excellence founded by Cambodia's Royal University of Agriculture in partnership with K-State's Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab.

On Jan. 26, U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia W. Patrick Murphy and the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, H.E Dith Tina, inaugurated the Kingdom's sixth agricultural technology park, located in Mondulkiri province. H.E Thang Savun, governor of Mondulkiri, was also in attendance.

"Technology parks for agriculture, including this new one in Mondulkiri, are hubs for scientists and practitioners to develop, test, showcase, and share high-potential, innovative technologies to sustainably intensify and transform farming systems," said Ambassador Murphy. "I'm proud of the support U.S. land-grant universities have provided to these parks, which showcase these innovative technologies to help farmers increase their production and improve their livelihoods."

The United States Agency for International Development, or USAID, funds the Center of Excellence on Sustainable Agricultural Intensification and Nutrition, or CE SAIN. The center of excellence was founded by the Royal University of Agriculture in partnership with the Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab, or SIIL, at K-State. The center's goal is to foster private-sector innovation, agricultural research, education, training and extension, and public-sector capacity building through improved collaboration and knowledge sharing focused on improving Cambodia's food and nutritional security.

"It has been an amazing experience to assist CE SAIN in building its capacity from the beginning, and now being able to witness the opening of a new agricultural technology park," said Vara Prasad, director of the Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab and university distinguished professor at K-State. "This will benefit students, farmers, scientists and others who will be able to learn new skills and techniques to improve the lives and livelihoods of people in their own communities."

The Center of Excellence on Sustainable Agricultural Intensification and Nutrition has collaborated with various institutions to establish agricultural technology parks in economically strategic locations, including parks already located in Phnom Penh, Kampong Cham, Kampong Thom, Siem Reap, and Battambang.

"The Ministry applauds the CE SAIN project for its agricultural technology transfer and extension features. We appreciate USAID for the financial support and Kansas State University for its coordinating role. At the same time, we strongly encourage all stakeholders to integrate sustainability and supply and demand aspects as core components into all future projects to be undertaken," said H.E. Dith Tina, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Since 2017, USAID CE SAIN has set up demonstrations of 28 agricultural technologies at the parks, engaged 263 individuals to conduct research and demonstrations, and hosted 5,026 individual visits.

"Through CE SAIN, the applied agricultural innovations from science-based research will be made available to local farmers in this agricultural technology park. Students, researchers, private sector and relevant stakeholders have a focal point to interact with farmers to directly hear and act on technological needs of farmers in Mondulkiri and nearby provinces" Rector of Royal University of Agriculture, H.E Dr. Ngo Bunthan said.

For more information, contact Lyda Hok, director of CE SAIN, at hoklyda@rua.edu.kh.

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