Although about a third (3.1 million) of the adult population works full-time in farming, relying on farming as a main source of income, a further fifth (1.5 million) of the adult population depends on farming to supplement their main income source, with a further 200,000 or so adults earning their main income in the form of farm wages.
Most households in Cambodia have multiple sources of income, and the adult population is largely dependent on the informal sector. In this context, farming forms the cornerstone of most people’s livelihoods, providing people with the means to not only earn income but also improve productivity and ultimately transition from poverty.
However, while significant in this sense, farming remains for the most part small scale, informal and subsistence: on small pieces of land, and relying on limited infrastructure and very limited access to finance. This limits the scalability of farming, making it almost impossible for farming households to reap the kinds of benefits that would come from full-scale commercialization.