A new farm survey tallied 1,726,000 household agricultural holdings in Cambodia or 50.2 per cent of all 3,438,000 households, as counted by the Cambodia Socio-Economic Survey 2017.
The latest Cambodia Inter-censal Agriculture Survey 2019 (CIAS 2019) noted that 88 per cent of household agricultural holdings engaged in crop activity, while 75 per cent reported raising livestock, poultry or insects.
CIAS 2019 is the first large-scale survey of the agriculture sector since the Census of Agriculture in Cambodia 2013, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said in a press statement.
With a report on its findings poised for launch on February 9, FAO said the census is funded by the Cambodian government, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), FAO and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
In partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and with support from FAO, the Ministry of Planning’s National Institute of Statistics (NIS) conducted the survey, collecting data on crop cultivation, livestock and poultry raising, aquaculture and capture fishing, the UN body said.
CIAS 2019 found that an estimated 234,000 household agricultural holdings were involved in capture fishing activity, with 63 per cent reporting lower catches in 2019 than in 2018 and just nine per cent posting larger figures.
The survey assessed that 31 per cent of the household agricultural holdings reported a lower agricultural income in 2019 than in 2018.
Holders were also asked to estimate the share of their total household income that was accounted for by agriculture – an estimated 32 per cent reported “about half”, 17 per cent said “most or almost all”, while only four per cent indicated “all”.
FAO representative in Cambodia Alexandre Huynh said CIAS 2019 will help close the agricultural data gap and contribute to the effective planning, financing and implementation of agricultural development strategies.
“Timely and quality data will support the Royal Government of Cambodia to ensure food security and mitigate the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic in Cambodia,” he said.
NIS director-general Hang Lina said FAO provided her institute with technology for use in the data collection.
“I wish to thank FAO for giving NIS access to new technologies, which resulted in the first national tablet-based data collection. I also wish to express my gratitude to USAID for their significant financial support, which was fundamental in successfully completing the CIAS 2019,” she said.
According to FAO, the CIAS 2019 is part of the “AGRISurvey”, a multi-year programme aimed at providing quality information to planners and policymakers and building national capacity on the best survey practices.
As of this year, the AGRISurvey will be incorporated into the “50x2030 Initiative”, a 10-year global programme led by a collaborative partnership between the World Bank, FAO and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), FAO said.
The initiative aims to fill the agricultural data gap in 50 low and lower-middle income countries by 2030, and provide information on the progress made in the adoption and implementation of agriculture-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it added. Cambodia was the first country to join the initiative in Asia.