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Raj Chongtham

Raj Chongtham Iman
Researcher at the Department of Biosystems and Technology


My personal and research interest has been on identifying ways for a speedy transition to sustainable food and feed systems, by improving the production systems as well as the interactions between actors in the food value chain. This curiosity has been driven by the fact that the current agricultural practices are characterized by high external inputs and intensive use of resources, which cannot be sustainable.  I have been analyzing how various crop and farm management practices in organic and conventional production systems can address climate change, low economic incentives, declining ecosystems services and loss of biodiversity.  I have experience in conducting minor agrarian diagnostic studies in middle- and low income countries such as in Romania, South Africa and Uganda.

Currently, I am involved in projects, which investigates the benefits of crop diversification, both in space and time, for instance intercropping of legumes with cereals and oilseeds, for more diversified, productive, adaptive and agro-ecological cropping systems in Northern Europe.

In addition, I have keen interest in multi-criteria sustainability assessment tools, and these tools are used in my research, teaching and supervision of student thesis works.


 I am the course leader of ‘Agroecology and sustainability of production systems’ offered at  MSc level, and also teach in other courses on crop production systems and agrarian diagnostic studies using participatory approaches.


MSc in Desert Studies, specializing in Agriculture and Biotechnology for Sustainable Dryland Development, 2006. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.

MSc in Sustainable Agricultural Development, 2008. University of Copenhagen, Denmark and Montpellier SUPAGRO, France

PhD in Agriculture, 2016. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden.

Post-doc in cropping systems ecology, 2017. Department of Biosystems and Technolgy, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp.

Selected publications

Translating the multiactor approach to research into practice using a workshop approach focusing on species mixtures. Henrik Hauggaard-Nielsen, Søren Lund, Ane K. Aare, Christine A. Watson, Laurent Bedoussac, Jean-Noël Aubertot, Iman Raj Chongtham, Natalia Bellostas, Cairistiona F. E. Topp, Pierre Hohmann, Erik S. Jensen, Maureen Stadel, Bertrand Pinel, Eric Justes (2021).  Front. Agr. Sci. Eng.,

Improved support for intercropping will reduce fertilizer input and nutrient losses. Georg Carlsson, Iman Raj Chongtham, Abco de Buck and Christine Watson (2021). Policy Brief, IFOAM, EU, Brussels.

Effect of intercropping designs of spring wheat and faba bean on crop productivity and resilience to weather extremes. Iman Raj Chongtham, Nawa Raj Dhamala and Erik Steen Jensen (2021). Aspects of Applied Biology 146: 225-232

Diversifying European agricultural systems by intercropping grain legumes and cereals. Erik Steen Jensen, Iman Raj Chongtham, Nawa Raj Dhamala, Carolina Rodriguez, Nicolas Carton and Georg Carlsson (2020). International Journal of Agriculture and Natural Resources 47(3): 174-18

Intercropping of oat and pea to address field-scale soil heterogeneity. Nawa Raj Dhamala, Iman Raj Chongtham and Erik Steen Jensen (2021). Aspects of Applied Biology, 146: 275-280

Improving crop yield stability by intercropping. Erik Steen Jensen and Iman Raj Chongtham (2020). Practice Abstract, IFOAM, EU, Brussels.

Cover crops to reduce nutrient leaching in Sweden. Iman Raj Chongtham (2020). DiverIMPACTS Newsletter, FiBL, Switzerland.

Understanding effects of multiple farm management practices on barley performance
Libère Nkurunziza, Iman Raj Chongtham, Christine A. Watson, Håkan Marstorp, Ingrid Öborn, Göran Bergkvist, Jan Bengtsson (2017).  European Journal of Agronomy 90 pp.43-52.

Factors influencing crop rotation strategies on organic farms with different time periods since conversion to organic production
Iman Raj Chongtham, Göran Bergkvist, Christine A Watson, Emil Sandström, Jan Bengtsson, Ingrid Öborn (2016) Biological Agriculture & Horticulture 33 (1) pp.14-27

Understanding crop and farm management
Iman Raj Chongtham (2016) Acta Universitatis agriculturae Sueciae 1652-6880; 2016:77. ISBN 978-91-576-8656-5.

Libère Nkurunziza, Håkan Marstorp, Iman Raj Chongtham, Kristin Thored, Ingrid Öborn, Göran Bergkvist, Jan Bengtsson (2015).  Projections to Latent Structures (PLS) to evaluate farming system effects on agroecosystem services: Changes after transition from conventional to organic farming system. Proceedings of the 5th International Symposium for Farming Systems Design, Montpellier, France, 429-430

Assessment of the strategies of organic fruit production and drying in Uganda
Iman Raj Chongtham, Andreas de Neergaard, Didier Pillot (2009) Journal of Agricultural Research in the Tropics and Subtropics 1 (111) pp.23-34

Promoting the culture of gilthead sea bream in low saline inland water: A novel way to farm saltwater fish in freshwater
Samuel Appelbaum, Jesu Arockia Raj, Iman Raj Chongtham (2008) Fish for the People, SEAFDEC 6 (1): 40-44

Analysis of the Strategies of Farmers Producing Organic Fresh and Dry Fruits in Kayunga, Uganda Iman Raj Chongtham (2008) Danish Development Research Network. Copenhagen. Denmark.

Present and Future Potentials of Agriculture in Pepela Village, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa Sofie Bryndum, Charlotte Bøye, Iman Raj Chongtham, Jennifer Montagne (2007) Sustainable Land use and Natural Resource Management. Copenhagen, Denmark.

Publications list: