Floating Gardens Project

Innovative Food Production for Floating Villages and Communities in Challenging Environments (Floating Gardens Project)


The floating communities on the Tonle Sap Lake, and flood-affected communities around Cambodia have very limited access to land during the wet season, and regular flooding inundates and destroys crops and reduces the viable growing seasons. Thus, opportunities for growing fruit and vegetable crops are reduced and, as such, communities depend heavily on fish for their diet and incomes. Live & Learn are working in four floating and flood-affected communities around the Tonle Sap Lake and one wetland on the outskirts of Phnom Penh to improve agricultural practices and increase access to fresh fruit and vegetables in these communities. Following and running in conjunction with the Floating Toilet Design project and the Floating Biodigester project, Live & Learn are integrating sanitation with agriculture, through reuse of treated waste from both the biodigesters and the ecosan toilets as fertilizer and soil conditioner. This will help provide additional incentive for sanitation as well as improved yields. Innovative agricultural techniques are required to support the expansion of food production in these communities, and our project team will be researching and developing appropriate options for the community. One solution is to develop floating garden beds made from floating water hyacinth and other locally sourced materials. The crops will then grow directly on the floating gardens and draw water and nutrients from the lake, before being harvested by boat. Other approaches working within the constraints of the community are also under consideration. This novel project is intended as a model demonstrating best practice sanitation and agriculture techniques that can lead the way to improved outcomes for other floating and flood-affected communities around the world. If you want to know more about Live and Learn Cambodia’s work in the Tonle Sap go straight to the Floating Latrine Facebook page