baset district, Kompong Speu province – The Agriculture Ministry on Thursday, along with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, highlighted the challenges climate change poses to sustaining food security in Cambodia at a ceremony to mark World Food Day.
Agriculture Ministry Secretary of State Seng Lao said during a speech at the ceremony that the situation in the drought-prone district of Baset in Kompong Speu province, where the event was held, was representative of the potential impact of climate change on Cambodian agriculture.
Droughts and infrequent rainfall could damage crops or delay plant-
ing, while other effects of climate change could include floods and outbreaks of insect plagues such as grasshoppers, according to Seng Lao.
He urged the implementation of a number of measures to mitigate the impact of climate change on food security, such as the intensification of rice cultivation, expanding animal husbandry and crop diversification and the introduction of rice varieties better adapted to dry conditions.
The Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture, or CEDAC, took part in an internationally organized protest event—the World Foodless Day—which aimed to draw attention to the international food crisis, CEDAC spokesman Him Korthieth said.
CEDAC released a statement Thursday with a number of recommendations to the government to improve food security, such as adopting land policies that are more favorable to farmers, large-scale intensification of rice cultivation and improvement of market access for farmers, which includes shielding domestic markets from imported agricultural products.
A recent CEDAC survey found that more than 100,000 families in Cambodia suffer from hunger, Him Korthieth said, adding that one reason for increasing food insecurity is that rural households are living off of ever smaller agricultural plots because of population growth.