Development of study programs and research in sustainable agriculture and aquaculture in Cambodia

Target country: Cambodia
Coordinator of the project Petra Chaloupková
Project team: Tereza Slámová, Olga Leuner, Lukáš Kalous, Miloslav Petrtýl, Jan Banout
Partners of the project: Royal University of Agriculture
Budget: 1 105 000,- CZK
Duration: 2023


Project goal:

The main contribution of the project is the development of study programs in the field of sustainable agriculture and aquaculture production with a focus on increasing the capacities of academic staff and students and thereby contributing to the improvement of higher education in Cambodia. According to the Bilateral Cooperation Program of the Czech Republic for Cambodia (2018–2023), the employment of future graduates on the labour market and thus the improvement of the employment level is one of the main critical factors in the field of higher education. The purpose of the project is to strengthen the capacities of academic staff and students in the field of value chains in a sustainable way (sustainable value chains), with a focus on alternative aquaculture products through practical training and professional cooperation. The priority areas of cooperation between the project partners are based on discussions with representatives of individual faculties at the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) and on the workshop "Strengthening research and education capacities through international partnerships follow-up of EU perspectives and experiences towards SDG's" held on 31 October 2022. Cooperation will take place mainly with three faculties: "Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development", "Faculty of Fisheries" and "Faculty of AgroIndustry" and with "Graduate school".

Output 1. Transfer of Czech know-how in the field of creating RUA study programs and university management

The goal of output 1 is a critical review of the master's study programs being prepared at the three cooperating faculties. This output aims to increase the capacity of academic staff in the form of consultations on individual master's degree programs being prepared at selected faculties.

  • Activity 1.1 Setting priorities and standards for the preparation of study programs at RUA and according to accreditation requirements in Cambodia
  • Activity 1.2 Consultation and preparation of proposals for new master's study programs
  • Activity 1.3 Panel discussion on the structure of proposed master's study programs with representatives of employers

Output 2. Increasing the research competences of students and researchers

The aim of the activities of output 2 is to increase the capacities of pedagogues in the form of specialized short-term study stays. The main topics will be the improvement of management skills in the field of pedagogy, which are essential for qualified teaching, and international relations, which fundamentally help to increase capacities on a global scale. The second activity will aim to train approximately 15 students as part of the Summer School through a combination of theoretical and practical teaching. The participants of the course will improve their theoretical knowledge in the field of aquaculture, and at the same time they will gain practical experience directly from the field, they will participate in group work, they will learn to solve current issues of value chains (i.e., from producers to consumers) and they will improve their transversal skills (e.g. communication skills, teamwork, critical thinking).

  • Activity 2.1 Management skills training in the field of pedagogy and international relations
  • Activity 2.2 Organization of Summer School "ASAP Cambodia -Assessing the sustainability of aquaculture production in Cambodia"

Output 3: Organization and promotion of scientific and research activities

The main goal of output 3 activities is the support of science and research at RUA, the promotion of government scholarships and the popularization of project outputs. A key activity is the organization of an international scientific conference, which creates an ideal space for sharing the scientific outputs of experts from RUA and CZU, or other foreign experts who will participate in the conference in person or online. An integral part of the project is also the promotion of government scholarships that RUA students can use. Last but not least, project activities include the promotion of both the entire project and its partial activities and outputs, including so-called lessons learned.

  • Activity 3.1 Organization of an international scientific conference
  • Activity 3.2 Promotion of the development scholarship program
  • Activity 3.3 Promotion of project activities and outputs


ASAP Cambodia – Assessing the sustainability of aquaculture production in Cambodia

The ten-day Summer School took place from July 24 to August 4, 2023 and the key topic was focused on value chains of alternative aquaculture products. Within the 10-day program, 12 students from the Royal Agricultural University (RUA) in Phnom Penh from 3 faculties and 4 Czech students from the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague (CZU) were trained.

As a part of the summer school program, students were trained in cross-cutting topics such as innovative teaching methods and project-based learning methods. They also participated in presentations on capacity building in soft skills, mainly focusing on online tools and managers, searching, and verifying scientific resources. Participants developed theoretical knowledge as well as practical skills and soft skills in the field of aquaculture and the complexity of its value chains from farmer to market, placing all this in the wider context of biodiversity, sustainability, and ecology.

The theoretical and practical parts were organized in cooperation with the management of the faculties of RUA, namely the Faculty of Fisheries, Agricultural Industry and Agro-Economics, in order to meet the requirements of teachers and students as much as possible. The teaching was designed in such a way that the theoretical parts were appropriately supplemented with practical examples, where the students had the opportunity to try everything, and thus better absorb the theoretical knowledge. During the first days of the summer school, students were exposed to new teaching methods and were introduced to the project-based learning (PBL) concept, which was the teaching method throughout the summer school.

During the intensive course, the students were working on a specific topic in practice, from the formulation of the research aim, design of hypotheses, data collection process, data processing to the final presentations and scientific discussions.

The summer school also included a weekend excursion to Siam Reap province. The aim of this excursion was to acquaint the students with both aquaculture production and fisheries in the area with the largest production around Tonle Sap Lake, which is the main source of livelihood for a large part of the Cambodian population. It included data collection via questionnaire survey, a visit to the Rathada farm and the local fishing community, and village of Chong Khneas in Siam Reap province.


Study visit at CZU


The Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Czech Republic was honoured to invite one visitor from the Faculty of Fisheries and Aquaculture, the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to participate in the XVII European Congress of Ichthyology in Prague. In this early September, Mr. Sophorn Uy, visited the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague and attended the XVII European Congress of Ichthyology. The congress covered every aspect of ichthyology including fish ecology, fish diversity, fish biology, fish physiology, fish taxonomy, fish life histories, fish evolution, fish genetic diversity and barcoding, and fish conservation. He was interested in many topics related to fish communities’ structure, invasive fish species, fish functional traits, fish genetic diversity and barcoding, stable isotopes study, fish evolution studies, and fish otolith studies, particularly the discovery of new species of freshwater fish. We hope this exchange leads to further collaboration and opportunities for learning and research both here at the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague and in Cambodia.



International scientific conference at RUA


The international scientific conference is jointly organized by the faculty of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (RUA) and the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague (CZU) and will be held on 23 November 2023 at the Royal University of Agriculture campus.


The topic is „Pathways to Sustainable Agriculture“. The sessions will include following topics:

Agronomy, Animal science, Forestry, Agro-industry, Veterinary medicine, Environmental science, Fishery, Agricultural engineering, Land management, Agricultural economics and rural development.


Call for abstracts is open.


More info is HERE



FTZ co-organized an international conference in Cambodia

The project "Development of study programs and research in the field of sustainable agriculture and aquaculture in Cambodia" culminated in the third international conference organized in cooperation between the Royal University of Agriculture in Phnom Penh (RUA) and the Czech University of Life Scinces Prague with the support of the Czech Development Cooperation. The conference with international participation took place on November 23, 2023 at the RUA campus. The packed full-day program included lectures by invited speakers, parallel sections with presentations, presentation of poster messages, contributions of the Czech Embassy in Phnom Penh to promote government scholarships and the non-profit organization Life With Dignity (LWD), which cooperates with the Czech non-profit organization Diaconia ECCB - Center of Relief and Development.

The theme of the conference "Pathways to Sustainable Agriculture" covered the broad field of agriculture, food, animal production and veterinary, forestry and fisheries, environment and socio-economic aspects with a focus on sustainable production and management. The conference was attended by almost 200 students and researchers from RUA. The main speakers were: Dr. Chutima Tantikitti from Prince of Songkla University, Thailand with the contribution "Sustainable Aquaculture Through Research at Aquatic Science", and Ing. Petra Chaloupková, Ph.D. from FTZ, CZU with the contribution "Role of Transformational Leadership for Agricultural Cooperatives in Cambodia".

During the conference, a total of 20 presentations and 20 posters were presented by Cambodian students. The organizing committee selected the three best presentations and the three best posters, and their authors received awards for their performances.


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