Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Agriculture ministry grows native saplings in laboratory

Agriculture ministry grows native saplings in laboratory

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Luxury timber tree plantation in Siem Reap province. VENG SAKHON VIA FACEBOOK

Agriculture ministry grows native saplings in laboratory

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon said a laboratory team has been experimenting with the production of saplings in cultured tissues, with the aim of establishing large-scale sapling nurseries which could rehabilitate forests.

Sakhon said on February 26 that the lab team had received a lot of training – both in the Kingdom and South Korea – on the basics of sapling breeding techniques, growth monitoring and data analysis.

The project – Establishment of a Forest Genetic Research Centre for the Restoration of Important Tree Species in Cambodia – was launched in 2016 by the Institute of Forest and Wildlife Research and Development under the Forestry Administration and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The project receives financial support from the Asian Forest Cooperation Organisation and technical assistance from the National Institute of Forest Science and the National University of Seoul.

He said the centre aimed to establish sapling breeding plantations that would conserve genetic resources. The project is being carried out on two sites in Siem Reap province – the first in Banteay Srei district’s Khun Ream commune and the second in Sotr Nikum district’s Chansar commune, each of which covers an area of 15ha.

The orchard was established by collecting seeds from 11 provinces to grow saplings. The saplings were then selected according to three criteria: growth, original form and disease resistance. Grafting methods were used to produce variants of Kra Nhuong (Dalbergia cochinchinensis), Thnong (Pterocarpus macrocarpus) and Trach (Dipterocarpus intricatus) saplings.

“Sapling growth is measured every six months for the first five years and then every year. We record growth levels, diameter, height, leaves, and health and original form of the saplings. Data is stored as the basis for selecting good varieties for storage.

“In addition to the above three species of tree, we also intend to expand and establish plantations for other types, to maintain their genetics and for reforestation purposes,” Sakhon said.

Chea Chamroeun, director of the NGO Save Environment and Agriculture, said the experimental efforts were good but suggested that it might be better to focus on planting industrial trees, as they are still great for fighting climate change and serve other benefits as well.

“In many countries, they plant trees that protect the environment but can also be harvested. The trees they are targeting with this project take many years to grow and may end up being secretly logged for profit,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • Cambodia's poverty cut in half from 2009 to 2019: World Bank report

    A report published by the World Bank on November 28 states that Cambodia’s national poverty rate fell by almost half between 2009 and 2019, but the Covid-19 pandemic recently reversed some of the poverty reduction progress. Cambodia’s poverty rate dropped from 33.8 to 17.8 per cent over the 10