This report was authored as a follow-up to the 2014 U21 Undergraduate Research Conference hosted at Shanghai Jiaotong University. The theme of the conference was ‘Food Safety: From Farm to Table’ and featured presentations by students from the U21 group of research universities, as well as keynote addresses by academics and a representative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. This report draws on observations from that event, while applying them to Cambodia’s current food security situation.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) defines food security as existing when ‘all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food.’ Food consumption in Cambodia is overwhelmingly based around the two staple foods of rice and fish. While the country has enjoyed sustained economic growth through the last decade, and is presented with a number of economic opportunities in the agricultural field, it remains one of the most food insecure countries in Asia. Malnutrition is an especially serious concern. Developing national infrastructure and the capacity of the government to deliver outcomes based on its priorities are crucial for achieving food security for the Cambodian people.