The first Regional Review and Planning workshop of the SRI-LMB was held in Siem Reap Cambodia from 02-03 June 2015. The workshop was organized by the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) and hosted by the General Directorate of Agriculture (GDA), Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), Cambodia. The objectives of the workshop were to share the initial learning derived from 60 action research sites, jointly review project activities undertaken since 2013, and collect feedback from various stakeholders and feed into the next cycle of action research to strengthen the project actions.

    Approximately 50 persons participated those included representation from GDA, MAFF, Cambodia; Department of Agriculture Extension and Cooperative (DAEC), MAF, Lao PDR; Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MoAC), Thailand, Rice Department, Thailand; Plant Protection Department (PPD), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Vietnam; representation from Royal University of Agriculture Cambodia, Rajabhat University Thailand, Nabong College of Agriculture Laos along with the representatives of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Oxfam America, SRI-Rice Cornell University and University of Reading UK, AIT and representative of the EU Delegation to Thailand.

    The workshop had plenary and review and planning sessions. The plenary session included sharing of knowledge and experiences on SRI and agro ecological approach from Asia, Africa and beyond along with the sharing of learning from SRI-LMB on farmer’s participatory action research’s result compiled from 60 action research sites spread over 15 districts of five provinces of the lower Mekong river basin countries. The session also discussed action research model used for the implementation of FPAR, and findings of policy baseline research and framework for advocacy. The review and planning session discussed SWOT analysis of FPAR implementation in all four countries and also work plan for the year 2015 and onwards. The partner’s action in achieving the project objective was also reviewed and analyzed.

    The workshop noted and discussed the results of more than 120 field experiments at 60 action research sites. The FPAR results showed higher yield and profit with higher input productivity irrespective of biophysical variability and variability in training approach. As a way forward, the workshop recommended to have a progressive action research model, which is near to real-field situation, a model that can be replicable and sustainable in longer run. It was also suggested that SRI is knowledge intensive approach therefore for innovation, which is prerequisite for SRI adaptation, it demands active dialogue among various stakeholders working at the local, national and regional level. Communication is the key and it should be further strengthened at all level and involving all. Finally, positive feedback received from ministries that included: project is in line with their government policy and the project activities are well planned and structured to address the concern of smallholder farmers.