Soil sampling is critical

Every time I assess land for a commercial group seeking to enter agriculture in Cambodia I insist on performing a rapid assessment of the soils on site. As I say this is a rapid assessment which is used to determine if the land has some potential for further investigations and a full due diligence before large investments are made.

Cambodia is blessed with a variety of landscapes, but apart from the soil in the image above much of the soil samples I have taken are generally poorly structured with an acid pH and low in nutrients. Many of the samples however were in landscapes that have been cultivated for centuries and have essentially been mined of their fertility.

Unfortunately much country is being indiscriminately logged and becoming available for agriculture. This has major environmental issues on many levels, including biodiversity and habitat loss, erosion, soil nutrient depletion through inappropriate agricultural practices.

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