2020 Volume 11 Issue 2 Pages 46-52
Rice is significant in Cambodian food security. The main cultivated area is in central plain and floodplain of Tonle Sap Lake (TSL). TSL provides importantly both provisioning and regulating services to rice cultivations in its floodplain such natural flood for irrigation, soil fertility from sediment and aquatics animals specifically fish and snakes which regulated and improve the rice cropping system naturally. However, changes of the Mekong River (flood pulse) and climate change impact on changes of rice cropping systems (RCS) observed recently. The objective of the study aims at carrying out farmer’s perception on ecosystem services (ES) in comparison with two sites of Low-water-land (LWL) and middle-water-land (MWL) in Sangkae district, Battambang province. An agrarian system analysis and diagnosis method applied for whole implementation with 120 rice farmers for this survey. Flood-pulse of TSL have change to lower and lower which led some part of floodplain became infertility, so farmers have changed their traditional rice cropping systems (floating rice and long-term rice) to high-yield rice; shifted from traditional techniques to modern systems by adopting new innovations, inputs and technology, chemical fertiliser and modern machineries. Nevertheless, from our study, the new rice cropping systems seem to be less sustainable, inadequate use of new technologies or inputs in the study areas. Rice cropping systems in MWL is more profitable than LML site. Farmers in both sites are aware of the ecosystem services provided by TSL, but not all of them perceived the same importance among the RCS because of agroecosystem differentiation. The poor farmers, who lived in and closer to the TSL basin relied the most on traditional rice; floating and long-term rice, were vulnerable to food insecurity and insufficient household’s income, changes of the ecosystem services in their regions. They reported the ES are more importance to their RCS than other medium and large farmers. Adaptive RCS and irrigation system should promote corresponding to the dynamic changes, ecosystems of Tonle Sap Lake.