How is the food security in the villages?

I would like to let you know that the situation of food security in the village is still the main issues to be solved even some farmers in the villages are progressing well in terms of the capacity of producing adequate food for family consumption and local market supplies. Based on the study on food security conducted in February 2009, 40.76% of the total families in the village confront shortages of rice for family consumption, including 15.75% lack of rice for less than 3 months per year, 14.72% lack of rice for 3 to 6 months per year and 10.29% lack of rice over than 6 months per year. It is to mention that the study was conducted in Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Speu, Kampot and Takeo provinces. In general, the average number of total families per village is 184 and there are 5 members per family.

At the same time, only 25.67% of the total families in the village are able to produce paddy for selling after enough supply for family consumption. However, the amount of paddy sold is still low which is less than 1 ton per family throughout the whole year. To me, I noted that most of the families that confront shortage for rice are the families that have cultivated rice field less than 0.5 ha. The poorest families often say that they have no enough rice field for rice cultivation that is why they cannot produce adequate rice to meet for family’s demand. By this reason, they alternatively migrate to work as the migrant workers outside the villages. Although, the income from off-farm activities are still not able to improve the livelihood of the families and actually cannot overcome the extreme poverty of the families.

On the other hand, in case of some families that have adopted/adapted the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), they are definitely able to produce enough food for the family even they have smaller rice fields. Through the practicing of SRI, farmers could harvest double yield if compare to the conventional practices. The SRI experienced farmers said that they could harvest the same volume of rice even they had already provided some pieces of rice fields to their sons and daughters. Therefore, it is able to conclude that the knowledge and skill for improving the agricultural productivity is the key point to get rid of food insecurity. Farmers themselves especially the poorest farmers need to practice new ideas in order to improve their current situation for a better lives.


About Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA)

Smallholder Agriculture Specialist / National Consultant for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Cambodia.
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