Food security is a major issue in the struggle to attain sustainable development and poverty reduction in the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB). In this article, we aim to determine food security situation in the rural riverine communities of the LMB, Cambodia. The degree and frequency of-and local responses to-food shortages and past, current and future trends in employment opportunities are analysed. In our detailed study of the Upper, Middle and Lower stretches along the LMB, we found that: (1) food insecurity exists in all three areas and has been mostly concentrated among the poor over the last decade; (2) there is a close association between food shortages and poverty, but no relationship between food shortages and its consequences; (3) local responses to food insecurity have proven ineffective leaving the villagers to deal with it by simply reducing their food consumption; and, (4) the existing local employment could not ensure food security and sustainable livelihoods of the villagers. The findings suggest that food security should be improved by rural economy and local employment; agriculture and irrigation advancement; social safety nets and community-based projects; and, distinction between chronic and transitory food insecurity in development programmes.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- food security
- Lower Mekong Basin
- riverine rural community