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Cambodia

TROPICAL Asia’s rice yields are at risk because of climate change, as evidence suggests higher temperatures have already cut growth rates as much as 20 percent in some areas, according the United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organisation.

A report produced by the body analysed six years’ worth of data from 227 sites in Asia, including in Thailand and southern Vietnam.“Temperature trends are becoming more influential [on rice yields],” the report said. 

“Looking ahead, they imply a net negative impact on yield from moderate warming in coming decades.” 

Read more: Climate yields rice concerns

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Cambodian farmerUSAID has awarded a five-year, multi-million dollar contract, designed to improve Cambodia's food security.

The United States Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, has awarded a five-year, multi-million dollar contract, designed to improve Cambodia's food security through enhanced agricultural development and better management of natural resources. The five-year contract was awarded to Fintrac, Incorporated, a highly-respected U.S.-based agribusiness consulting firm that develops agricultural solutions to end hunger and poverty.

This award will serve as U.S. Government's flagship food security activity in Cambodia. "Helping Address Rural Vulnerabilities and Ecosystems Stability", or "HARVEST", the Project, will work with public, private and civil society to strengthen food security by increasing agricultural productivity; raising the incomes of the rural poor; preparing the country to adapt to climate change; and reducing the number of Cambodians, especially women and children, suffering from malnutrition.

Read more: Cambodia's Food Security

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A GREATER portion of Cambodia’s population is vulnerable to flooding than that of any other country in the Asia-Pacific region, according to a report assessing the impact of disasters. 

The Asia-Pacific Disaster Report 2010, released yesterday at a conference in South Korea by the United Nations, cites databases indicating that 12.2 percent of Cambodia’s population is exposed to flooding, followed closely by Bangladesh with 12.1 percent. Vietnam was third with 3.9 percent. 

In absolute terms, Cambodia was the fifth-most-affected country, with 1.7 million residents exposed to flooding. Bangladesh topped this list with 19.2 million, followed by India (15.8 million), China (3.9 million) and Vietnam (3.4 million).

The release of the report came as Cambodian officials said 17,648 families faced food shortages as a result of flooding that began on October 10. 

Also yesterday, Association of Southeast Asian Nations Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan said the issues of disaster management and climate change would be “highest on the agenda of ASEAN” as leaders from the 10-member bloc prepared to meet in Hanoi this week.

Read more: Flood danger stressed

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