Agriculture, irrigation and poverty reduction in Cambodia: policy narratives and ground realities compared
The fieldwork and review of the current literature on which this report is based was undertaken as a contribution to an assessment of the current status of agriculture in Cambodia, with an emphasis on the linkages between agriculture and water, mainly in the form of irrigation. As identifying future research areas particularly within this agriculture water nexus is an explicit objective, this review seeks to view current government policies directed at both agriculture and irrigation in the context of experiences on the ground, as communicated in the sizeable collection of field studies that together cover varied aspects of performance related to the agriculture sector and irrigation schemes. This review attempts to make use of this information to look at the status quo, and connects or disconnects with stated policy through a broad lens in an attempt to capture strengths and challenges across crop production, irrigation management and post-harvest contexts. In particular, it places irrigation under scrutiny in terms of its value as a major area of government expenditure in recent years, and to enquire whether it presents the best potential for future gains in productivity when compared to the prospects offered by investments in other aspects of agriculture.
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