The Department of State believes that the most effective food security strategies come from those closest to the problems. In recent months, through the leadership of the Secretary’s Global Food Security Office, the Department has begun to emphasize consultation and careful analysis of impact. Through programs such as Feed the Future, the Department often partners with international organizations to help other countries grow sustainable food products for their people.
At first glance Cambodia may look lush and fertile, but its agricultural development challenges are enormous. Only 22 percent of Cambodia’s land is suitable for growing crops. Crop productivity rates are low, illiteracy and poverty rates are high, rural roads and irrigation infrastructure are limited, and market infrastructure is weak. Twenty-five percent of Cambodia’s population falls below the poverty line of less than $1.25 of income per day.
Working to overcome Cambodia’s food security challenges for its young and fast-growing population is a huge challenge. U.S. diplomat Chris Hegadorn visited Cambodia to discuss food security challenges. His presence helped to furnish key information to other U.S. diplomats working to provide tools and skills that would enable the Cambodian people to grow more food. One approach has been to provide new varieties of rice seed, fertilizer, and services to help train small farmers in new methods to increase production.