Press release

WorldFish helps reveal the importance of Cambodia's fisheries

WorldFish and Cambodia's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) have developed new tools that have helped improve the country's understanding of the importance of fisheries to food security and economic well-being in the country.

Water management is critical to Cambodian agriculture. Nearly one-third of the country's agricultural land becomes flooded in the rainy season, when rice fields become fisheries. The subsequent dry season then creates water shortages that affect the nation's agricultural and aquaculture production.

MAFF and WorldFish, with support from CGIAR’s Challenge Program on Water and Food, Cambodia, worked together to extend an existing commune agro-system analysis (CAEA) planning tool to include aquaculture.

Working with four target communes, the researchers updated the CAEA guidance manual to address water resources more effectively. This included noting the changing needs of water resources at different times of the year.

The major project also required development of new aquaculture-related tools to help realize multiple goals, including to:

•    identify key water bodies such as rivers, streams and natural ponds, as well as the extent of flooded forest;

•    provide additional insight on water resources and water use for agriculture and fisheries;

•    analyze uses and makeup of water bodies;

•    rank the most important fish species in terms of local livelihoods, abundance and value; and

•    understand key factors affecting livelihoods, as well as the gender breakdown of tasks.

These tools have helped improve understanding of the connection between land, water resources, fisheries and livelihoods in Camdbodia, and have heightened the communes’ appreciation for water resource issues.

• In the north, Chamnar Krom and Samproch expressed concern about the impact of new reservoirs on grasslands and fish.

• In the south, Sya and Sna Ansar both identified the need for community-based groups to address conservation and water-use issues.

Cambodia's Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) has endorsed the new tools, which are already being adopted by other projects in the country.

The development team also included specialists from the International Water Management Institute, the Inland Fisheries and Development Research Institute (Cambodia), the School of African and Oriental Studies at the University of London, and an independent consultant.

About WorldFish

WorldFish, a member of the CGIAR Consortium, is an international, nonprofit research organization committed to reducing poverty and hunger through fisheries and aquaculture.


CGIAR is a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future. Its science is carried out by the 15 research centers who are members of the CGIAR Consortium in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations.

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