Field testing of the Inter-Censal Agriculture Survey 2019 questionnaires in Cambodia.
Photo: FAO/K. Koudelka

05.07.2019

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Agriculture can only reach its full potential to feed the masses, drive growth, and reduce poverty if decision-makers – including governments, private sector, and development organisations – have accurate data to make smart decisions. The new ‘50x2030 Initiative to Close the Agricultural Data Gap’ aims to bridge the global agricultural data gap by supporting 50 low and lower-middle income countries in building agricultural survey programmes by 2030.

Samphy owns a 1.5-hectare farm in Western Cambodia. She grows vegetables and fruit trees on a half-hectare plot behind the family’s home and rice on another one-hectare plot a kilometre down the road. With the help of her twelve-year-old son and nine-year-old daughter, she also raises chickens. Production on the farm has had its ups and downs from year to year due to weather conditions and Samphy’s ability to access resources, like improved seed varieties, extension advice, veterinary services, and credit to purchase inputs.

While Cambodia has experienced unprecedented economic growth in recent years, the country’s rising tide has not lifted the boats of all its citizens. In particular, the rural and agricultural sectors have fallen behind, severely outpaced by growth in more industrial sectors and urban environments. Incomes, consumption, and food security lag behind in rural areas such as the one where Samphy lives. Like her neighbours, Samphy’s livelihood options are limited within agriculture, and she faces constraints that hinder her productivity on the farm and opportunities off-farm.

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