Of all the places I have traveled, no country has laid claim to my heart like Cambodia. I think I fell in love as we passed through customs. It was late, like 11:30 p.m. We were the last flight of the evening. The workers should have been tried and antsy. I wouldn’t have begrudged them curt attitudes at that hour. Instead we were greeted with smiles and jokes and a genuine desire to help us find our way. It was such a stark contrast to China (where I was living at the time).
Like China, the main agricultural product in Cambodia is rice.
They harvest two plantings each year, one in the rainy season and one in the dry season. Many farmers still use draft animals, such as oxen and water buffalo, to prepare their fields and harvest their crops. Large scale animal husbandry is uncommon as most families raise their own animals for food and other products.
Other crops include corn, coconut, rubber, sweet potatoes, dry beans and a variety of tropical fruits. Fish are their main source of protein.
Sadly, a good deal of Cambodia’s land cannot be used for agriculture (or anything else) because of the lingering threat of land mines. Millions were planted during Communist revolution and Vietnam war and they continue to haunt the nation in more ways than simply restricting access to natural resources.