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Citation Information

Type Report
Title Geographic Analysis of Poverty Status and Aquatic Resources Use Focusing Especially on the Livelihoods of the Poor in Cambodia
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2000
URL http://ifredi-cambodia.org/wp-content/uploads/2004/01/So_Nam_2000_Geographic_analysis_of_poverty_sta​tus_and_aquatic_resources.pdf
Cambodia has a land area of 181,035 km2
, about 20% of which is used for agriculture.
The country’s capital city is Phnom Penh. International borders are shared with
Thailand, Lao and Vietnam. A central plain drained by the Great Lake and the Mekong
and Bassac River systems. In comparison with its neighbors, Cambodia is a
geographically compact country administratively divided in 24
provinces/municipalities, three of which have relatively short maritime boundaries. The
Census of Population 1998 enumerated the total population of the country as 11.4
million inclusive of the institutional population. The population of the rural sector is
about 82% of the total population.
In rural Cambodia, given the vagaries of agricultural production (47-50% of GDP:
MAFF, 1998), wide fluctuations in income and the high incidents of shocks (illness,
accidents, etc.) and the paucity of reserves i.e. savings and food stocks, especially for
poor households, common property resources, especially aquatic resources are of
pivotal importance in ensuring food security. Fish provides 70-80% of all animal
protein intake (Thouk et al.,2000), foraging for fish, crabs, shrimps, snails, frogs and
green vegetables from rice fields is carried out by 87% of households (UNICEF, 1994),
every year a huge migration takes place within Cambodia to the Tonle Sap to trade rice
for Trey Riel (Henicorhynchus sp.– a small cyprinid) and other small fish species to
make PRAHOC (fish paste), a key component of seasonal food security for poor rice
farmers. Fishing or fishing related activity is the primary occupation for 10.5% of
households and a part-time activity for 34.1% of households (Ahmed et al., 1998) and
most landless people catch and trade fish for rice.

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