Irrigation inequality, rice farming productivity and food insecurity in rural Cambodia

Author name: 
Budy P. Resosudarmo
Kimlong Chheng

This paper investigates the impacts of inequality access to irrigation on rice farming productivity as measured by rice yield and revenue per hectare and on food insecurity among rice farmers in rural Cambodia. Using our own household survey administered in 2014 to 251 rice farming households in 32 rural villages in four provinces, we show that better irrigation access, particularly reservoir, dike, or canal irrigation, provide households with significantly higher rice production and revenue. We also show that productivity of rice farming is significantly and negatively associated with household food insecurity. Hence, developing irrigation networks such as reservoirs, dikes, or canals to reduce irrigation inequality is a key policy option to tackle food insecurity in Cambodia.

Keywords: irrigation, inequality, rice farming productivity, food insecurity JEL: D33, I31, O12, Q15, Q18

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