Smallholder farmers in Cambodia successfully field-test a stress tolerant variety to adapt to climate change

21 March 2017


Women farmers proudly show their harvest from the pilot testing of pure seeds of DMSK in Preah Vihear, Cambodia. /Photo by IBIS-RICE

Supporting farmers in adapting to climate change and at the same time contribute to their livelihoods and protect the environment, was the goal of a small pilot project in Cambodia, initiated by the ASEAN Climate Resilience Network (ASEAN-CRN), which has now successfully concluded.

Farmers in Preah Vihear Province, working with the Wildlife Conservation Society, tested for climate tolerance and acceptability the Damnai Sabai Mongkul (DSMK) which is a glutinous rice variety tolerant to droughts and floods when planted at low lying fields. Simultaneously, they were also trained by the Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) on pure seeds production.

Initial findings of the field trials indicate that DMSK has potential to add diversity to farmers’ source of living in Cambodia, and its market prospects are promising. The project hopes that should a wider market be made available, the distribution and uptake of DMSK will go beyond its pilot stage and benefit a larger number of farmers, and increase their resilience to climate change. This Cambodian experience in promoting stress-tolerant rice variety is also targeted to be shared among other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

From farm to the table. /Photo by IBIS-RICE

The story of this small but effective partnership is captured in a video which features farmers in Preah Vihear province proudly presenting their harvest from the pilot testing of DSMK. The video shows how Dr. Ouk Makara’s team from CARDI has successfully trained farmers on pure seed production, with 

the support of the ASEAN-German Response to Climate Change Programme, specifically the Forestry and Climate Change (FOR-CC) project in cooperation with IBIS Rice – Organic Wildlife Friendly Rice and the Wildlife Conservation Society.


ASEAN-CRN provides as a platform for promoting climate resiliency through exchange of information, expertise, and experiences on climate smart agriculture amongst ASEAN member states. The ASEAN-CRN is being supported by FOR-CC under the ASEAN-German Programme on Response to Climate Change in Agriculture and Forestry (GAP-CC), which is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in close cooperation with the ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC).

Authors: Imelda Bacudo, Jonas Dallinger, and Kristine Joy Villagracia