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Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Horticulture

Empowering women vegetable growers with drip irrigation

Target Country: Cambodia

Principal Investigator: Manuel Reyes, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University


This is a joint project with the Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Collaborative Research Support Program (SANREM CRSP).

Project Description

Horticulture crop production, a woman's domain in parts of Southeast Asia, is plagued by yield losses because of drought and unequal opportunities for women. Among the many technologies in horticulture, drip irrigation has demonstrated that it replaces time-consuming tasks of hand irrigation and fertilization, while increasing yield, reducing pest problems and saving water. When targeted at women, drip irrigation has also been found to increase women's productivity and income, and to enhance their welfare by reducing drudgery, decreasing workload, improving health, and saving time for other practical needs — all of which empowers them with stronger voices in their families and communities.

The project is located in Siem Reap, Cambodia, near the world-famous Angkor Wat temples. Fifteen women were provided with drip irrigation systems; yields and labor are monitored for both drip and no-drip trials. The participating women chose the vegetables for the experiment and are marketing vegetables to tourism establishments in the area.

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