Prey Veng Rice Farmers Switch to Fish Despite Uncertainty Over Export Potential

Chhum Phirom has lived in the fertile Mekong River basin all his life. The 26-year-old Prey Veng resident said most families in Peam Ro district have relied on rice farming to ensure basic livelihood and sustenance.

The fertile plains have made the district, and province, one of Cambodia’s leading rice producers, according to Agriculture Ministry statistics, with kilometers of rice paddy covering the landscape. But, with climate change, drought-like conditions, and low rice prices plaguing the critical export sector, some families are turning their backs on the traditional occupation to invest in aquaculture.

The district, which houses the government-run Freshwater Aquaculture Research and Development Center, has seen a recent crop of freshly-dug ponds, peppered among rice fields.

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