Can Market Integration Improve Livelihoods and Safeguard the Environment

Maylee Thavat

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    A key concern for developing countries experiencing rapid agrarian transformation is the loss of different agro-ecologies and on-farm biodiversity. As forest cover diminishes, discussions around environment and conservation often turn to debates over agro-biodiversity and land management by farmers. Prey Veng meaning ‘Long’ or ‘Grand Forest’ in Khmer, was densely forested prior to French rule; but it is now firmly planted as a central province of Cambodia’s agricultural heartland, with the largest area of any province devoted to rice production, contributing around 10 per cent of the country’s total annual rice harvest (USAID, 2008). Rice ecologies of the lower Mekong delta can present a seemingly endless landscape of monoculture. To the contrary, however, Cambodia’s lowland rice ecologies are highly diverse and productive environments that yield not just rice but a range of flora and fauna important to food security for farmers and potentially the resilience of agricultural systems overall (Shams, 2007). Diversity among rice varieties is also recognized as important in the face of environmental uncertainty and climate variability (IPCC, 2002). Simply put, growing a diversity of rice varieties helps spread the risks of crop failure due to changing growing conditions or extreme climatic events to which Cambodia is prone.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationConservation and Development in Cambodia: Exploring frontiers of change in nature, state and society
    Editors Milne, Sarah, and Mahanty, Sango
    Place of PublicationLondon and New York
    ISBN (Print)9780415706803
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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