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by Hoy Sokkea

The article is part of the book series Cambodia 2040, which is published by Future Forum and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Cambodia. Enjoy the read!

Agriculture and food have not only been the main drivers of the kingdom’s economy, but they are also a way of life for Cambodians and will likely continue to shape and affect them. These sectors have helped promote economic growth, reduce poverty, and ensure national food security (WorldBank, 2019).

Why should I read this chapter? ... because food always matters, even in 2040!

Ms. Hoy Sokkea's vision for Cambodia's food industry in 2040:

  • Employment of technology will see smart watches with tracking technology will play a critical role in informing people when and what to eat based on information on their health.
  • A reduction in food prices will serve as a social protection mechanism preventing the near poor from falling back into poverty. Making healthy food affordable is also a policy measure that would tackle preventable health problems that result in avoidable government expenditure.
  • Blockchain technology that independently records information and transactions between different players in the food market can act as a platform to optimize market demand and supply.
  • AI will act as a patent screener, inspector, and analyst. For all the micro ingredients that go into each innovation, food will be scrutinized and investigated before the rights are given to anyone.

Find two scenarios here:

Consumer Narrative:

Ms. Sopheak Jing is so occupied at work that she forgets it is time for lunch. Thankfully, her smart watch alerts her to the time and suggests a few options based on her eating history. Having found a particularly well rated Kampot Pepper Crab stew, Sopheak taps to order and awaits delivery. Unlike times of old, her meal is prepared in the newly established KitchenLab where robotic chefs create dishes from a vast pantry of raw ingredients. Once cooked, meals are transported to the destination by a fleet of driverless tuk-tuks. Packaging is complete with a QR code that contains information on the origin of produce alongside nutritional information. She picks up her phone to scan the QR code and finds out that the farmers were from Kampot (crab), Kampong Cham (pepper) and Battambang (rice). Should she wish to explore further, she can see how long the pepper and rice took to grow and understands which types of fertilizers and seeds that were used.


Producer Narrative:

Mr. Visal Hak owns a 50-hectare farm. He grows various crops including rice, pepper, corn and a cassava. Orders for his produce are made through a platform on his smartphone developed in a public-private partnership to address food scarcity, access, and farmer equity. The application will match him to suppliers, consumers, and support personnel when needed. Hak divides his farm into different plots based on the level of land, the type of soil, the nutrient content of the soil itself, and the proximity to other farms. Information on these matters is continually collected through a range of ground sensors and drone mapping processes. In addition, Hak has employed a smart irrigation system that works alongside AI robotic instruments that are able to take remedial action in the case of a substandard change in the environment.


Read here the full academic text!

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