Research undertaken by the Agriculture Unit this year contributes to a better practical understanding of the socioeconomic factors that limit or enrich livelihood options, how to best target interventions aimed at bolstering smallholder livelihoods and improving livestock systems, and the key obstacles to eliminating food and nutrition insecurity. Research findings also provide clearer evidence of how agricultural trade contributes to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.
The team has implemented 10 projects, six of which have been completed. These include two joint studies: The Impact of Health Financing Policies on Household Spending: Evidence from Cambodia Socio-Economic Surveys 2004 and 2009 with the Health research team, and a Knowledge, Attitudes and Practice Study on Climate Change in Cambodia (KAP2) with the Environment Unit. Reports for the studies on Contract Farming in Cambodia: Different Models, Policy and Practice and the Effect of Labour Movement on Agricultural Mechanisation in Cambodia, both funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), have been published as working papers. Two more research papers have been finalised, one on Livestock Production and Value Chain Analysis and the other on the Impact of Agricultural Extension Services on Rice Productivity; these projects received support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) under Phase II of Agricultural Policies for Rice-Based Farming Systems in the Middle Mekong.
Four projects are ongoing. Of these, the Sida-assisted project to explore the Impact of Rice Export Promotion Policy on Food Security is progressing well, and the study findings will be released in May 2016. The first draft of a report on Off-farm Income Generation Activities in Cambodia has been submitted to reviewers; initiated in May 2015, this project is resourced by funds from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Also submitted for comment is the progress report for the project Impact of Education Public Spending on Human Capital, Poverty and Inequality: A CGE Approach for Cambodia, started in June 2015 with financial backing from Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP). A new eight-month (November 2015-June 2016) project on Irrigated Agriculture in Cambodia is underway; this study is sponsored by the Australian National University (ANU).
Already in the pipeline for 2016 are three new projects: Rice Policy Analysis: Implications of Vietnam’s Rice Export Policy for Cambodia, supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Lower Mekong Public Policy Initiative (LMPPI); Testing Innovative Models of Extension in Cambodia’s PADEE Program, funded by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); and Endline Impact Assessment of Cambodia-HARVEST Program, backed by USAID. Work on the first two projects began in late 2015/early 2016, and the third will start in August-September 2016.
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