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Greater investment in small-scale food producers key to ensuring food security in Cambodia

Phnom Penh—A coalition of NGOs is calling for greater support for small-scale food producers, especially farmers who continue to face mounting pressures in producing food for their families and the nation. Climate change along with a growing population and competition for resources such as land and water has posed new challenges for small-scale food producers to sustain their livelihood and rise out of poverty.

“The number of people is growing but agricultural land doesn’t grow, so more of the same is not enough,” said Chet Charya, Executive Director of STAR Kampuchea. “We must work together with development partners, businesses, and the government to support small-scale farmers to grow more and safer food.”

Cambodia has a huge, yet untapped potential for yield growth in small-scale agriculture. The average yield of rice—Cambodia’s most important crop—is 2.7 tonnes per hectare, about half the yield in neighboring Thailand and Vietnam. Investments in national food security must help small-scale farmers increase their yields and self-sufficiency such as by improving access to land and water, providing fair access to market, increasing their ability and confidence in adopting innovative farming techniques and giving them tools they need to produce more and better food.

In 2010, Cambodia produced over seven million tons of rice, an amount that is more than enough to feed the entire nation. However, small-scale food producers, especially women remain at risk of being harmed by food shortages as prices of food continue to rise and extreme climate events such as floods and droughts are increasing in intensity and frequency.

“Women who produce much of the food we eat are disproportionately affected because they are usually the ones responsible for finding and preparing food for the family,” said Ros Sopheap, Executive Director of Gender and Development for Cambodia. “Policies on food security must address the challenges of our women food producers.”

About 80 per cent of Cambodian people depend on agriculture. Most of them grow rice and vegetables, raise livestock, catch fish or gather non-timber forest products for domestic consumption and for selling.

“All of us—men, women and children—deserve enough, safe and hygienic food to eat,” said Dr. Chea Samnang, a Cambodian actor and UNFPA goodwill ambassador, who joined a cooking show alongside Ministers of Agriculture and Women’s Affairs at Phnom Penh’s Night Market this morning. “By working together to support small food producers, we can secure food for all Cambodian citizens.”

  1. One Response to “Greater investment in small-scale food producers key to ensuring food security in Cambodia”

  2. By トリーバーチ がま口 on Nov 22, 2013

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