Perceptions of Risk and Risk Management Strategies: Identifying Alternative Strategies to Promote Smallholder Vegetable Production in Cambodia (Published)
Cambodia’s vegetable sector is typically poorly managed and susceptible to a multitude of shocks preventing producers from meeting consumer demand. Thus, consumers rely on imported vegetables from Vietnam and Thailand. The government of Cambodia is intent upon capitalizing on this demand for domestic vegetables and has shown support for farmers and marketers shifting toward the vegetable sector. However, the government must work quickly if it wishes to assist its growers in capturing this market. Farming is inherently risky as farmers are faced with numerous exogenous factors that can alter yields and farm income. The implementation of risk management strategies tailored to the risk-taking behavior of the farming population can significantly reduce the impacts of these exogenous shocks. This study assesses existing vegetable grower’s risk management strategies, their knowledge and perceptions and find that the accessibility of producer groups, savings groups, crop insurance, and contract farming can greatly mitigate the risks deemed most significant by growers. These strategies will likely exhibit high rates of adoption and can significantly reduce risks and farm profit losses. Finally, we recommend the establishment of a crop insurance program by the government as well as an overall policy environment in which contract farming can thrive in order to support vegetable growers and meet the countries growing vegetable demand.