Position: Internship (Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD))__Deadline:28-June

Internship: “Incidence and impact of Fall Armyworm on Corn yield”

Context:
Agriculture plays an important role in Cambodia’s economic development. The total arable land area is approximately 4.5 million hectares (ha) of which 4 million ha are used for seasonal crops, mostly rice (3.0 million ha), approx. 1 million ha of annual crops and 0.5 million ha are under permanent crops (rubber, fruit trees, commercial woodland).

FAW (Fall Armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda) is a native insect to tropical and subtropical regions of the Western  Hemisphere,  and  regularly migrates to cooler regions in summer. In its larva stage, it can cause significant damage to crops. FAW targets corn, but can feed on more than
350 additional species of plants, including rice, soybeans, sugarcane, vegetable crops, and cotton. The moth can fly up to 100 km per night and a female can lay up to a total of 1,000 eggs in a lifetime (10 days). In Africa, FAW was first detected in Nigeria in January 2016, and has quickly spread to 44 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. It has been reported in South-East Asia since 2018 and is already an important pest of corn all around Cambodia.

Internship proposal 1 : Battambang province

Borun experimental station is situated closed to Battambang and since 2020, various cropping systems are experimented under Conservation Agriculture (no tillage, green manure, cover crops, direct sowing…). 8 agroecological systems are experimented currently, with corn and cassava. Various variables are measured on the crop for each system, including yield and damages of FAW for the corn.

The overall objectives of the experiment are to
  • design and assess the transition towards agro-ecological systems (technical requirements, performances and ecological balance shifts).
  • Understand biological processes that sustain and enhance agroecological systems.
The student will be part of the DDFAW project (Diagnostic of Damage of Fall Army Worm in Cambodian Farm).
She/he  will  be  based  at  Sdao,  Rattanak  Mondoul  district,  Battambang province and work  with the team of CARDEC (Cambodian Conservation
 
Agriculture Research for Development Center) on the follow-up of FAW in the different cropping systems.

In accordance to the discussions with the team and her/his supervisor, the student will be in charge of:
  • Installation of pheromone traps to catch Spodoptera frugiperda in the experimentation and in farmer fields,
  • Follow-up of the
  • Follow-up of the insects trapped: take pictures of all the insects and count them. Draw a dynamic of the presence of the insects all along the corn cycle, according to the location of the trap and the species trapped,
  • Follow-up twice per corn cycle of the impacts of the insects in the different treatments with corn and one time at harvest, input the data in excel and analyze the impact of the treatment on the pest prevalence and on the damages
  • Take samples of insects
  • Built and manage excel files gathering all the data collected on the experiment and organize them according to the supervisor's recommendations
  • Produce a report on the impacts of agroecological cropping systems on the damages caused by FAW and impacts on yield.

Internship proposal 2 : Battambang and Kandal province

The management methods of farmers are not well known in Cambodia, as well as the damage on yield components.

The overall objectives of the project are to

  • Collect data on farmer practices against FAW and how they perceive this new pest in the province of Battambang and Kandal;
  • Evaluate impact of FAW on corn production and population dynamics of moths.

The student will be part of the DDFAW project (Diagnostic of Damage of Fall Army Worm in Cambodian Farm).
She/he will be based at RUA with many field activities in the countryside (Battambang and Kandal provinces).
In accordance to the discussions with the team and her/his supervisor, the student will be in charge of:

  • Interview the farmers about theirs practices to manage FAW damage, how they perceive this new pest and what they know about it.
  • Participate and animate a workshop with the farmer to talk about FAW.
  • Installation of pheromone traps to catch Spodoptera frugiperda in farmer fields.
  • Follow-up of the insects trapped: take pictures of all the insects and count them. Draw a dynamic of the presence of the insects all along the corn cycle, according to the location of the trap and the species trapped,
  • Follow-up twice per corn cycle of the impacts of the insects in the different treatments with corn and one time at harvest, input the data in excel and analyze the impact of the treatment on the pest prevalence and on the damages
  • Take samples of insects
  • Built and manage excel files gathering all the data collected on the experiment and organize them according to the supervisor's recommendations
  • Produce a report on the farmer practices and on the damages caused by FAW and impacts on yield.

Internship proposal 3 : Kampong Cham province

Bos Khnor experimental station is situated in Kampong Cham province and since 2004, various cropping systems are experimented under Conservation Agriculture (no tillage, rotation, cover crops, direct sowing…). PAMPA (Multi-countries action program for agroecology) design experiment is ongoing with corn, cassava and soybean. In corn production,
4 systems are experimented currently, 1 conventional (tillage, no cover crop and no rotation) and 3 agroecological systems in conservative agriculture. Various variables are measured on the crop for each system, including yield and damages of FAW for the corn.

The overall objectives of the experiment are to

  • design and assess the transition towards agro-ecological systems (technical requirements, performances and ecological balance shifts).
  • Understand biological processes that sustain and enhance agroecological systems.

The student will be part of the DDFAW project (Diagnostic of Damage of Fall Army Worm in Cambodian Farm).

She/he will be based at Bos Khnor, Kampong Cham province and work with the team of the station on the follow-up of FAW in the different cropping systems.

In accordance to the discussions with the team and her/his supervisor, the student will be in charge of:

  • Installation of pheromons traps to catch Spodoptera frugiperda
  • Follow-up of the insects trapped: take pictures of all the insects and count them. Draw a dynamic of the presence of the insects all along the corn cycle, according to the location of the trap and the species trapped,
  • Follow-up twice per corn cycle of the impacts of the insects in the different treatments with corn and one time at harvest, input the data in excel and analyze the impact of the treatment on the pest prevalence and on the damages
  • Take samples of insects
  • Built and manage excel files gathering all the data collected on the experiment and organize them according to the supervisor's recommendations
  • Produce a report on the impacts of agroecological cropping systems on the damages caused by FAW and impacts on yield.
Financial support: 300 USD/month from May 2024 to November 2024 
 
Good level in English appreciated

Contact:
Dr KimKhuy, Dept. deputy head in RUA, Facilitator for Crop Protection Department
Mr Veng Sar, Department of Agricultural Land Resources Management (DALRM), General Directorate of Agriculture. sarveng@hotmail.com
Mrs Sreymom Sieng, Department of Agricultural Land Resources Management (DALRM), General Directorate of Agriculture. sieng.sreymom55@gmail.com
Dr Mathilde Sester. CIRAD. ITC Phnom Penh. mathilde.sester@cirad.fr
Dr   Florent   Tivet.   CIRAD   agronomist.   GDA/DALRM.   Phnom   Penh.
florent.tivet@cirad.fr
Dr Lucile Delatouche. CIRAD. lucile.delatouche@cirad.fr

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Cambodia Jobs: Position: Internship (Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD))__Deadline:28-June
Position: Internship (Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD))__Deadline:28-June
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