Ag Diversification: “Wild Gardens” Empower Cambodian Women
In a perfect world, everyone would have access to nutritious, affordable food.
However, as Rick Bates knows, there is no such thing as utopia when it comes to food security, as millions of people around the world have limited food resources. One of those places is Cambodia in Southeast Asia, one of the world's poorest countries, where the rural poverty rate is 24 percent, and 40 percent of children younger than five are chronically malnourished, making them vulnerable to significant health problems.
"Cambodian household diets are among the least diversified in Southeast Asia, characterized by an overreliance on rice," said the professor of horticulture in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. "There is a pressing need in Cambodia to increase the diversification of farming systems to improve human nutrition and farm profitability, and this must be achieved in a sustainable manner."