Economy, Agriculture and Fishing
lungfish, Tonle Sap, palm sugar, Gulf of Thailand, pineapples
Agriculture is the largest sector of Cambodia’s economy, contributing 37 percent of the GDP in 2000. Rice is Cambodia’s most important crop and the staple food of the Khmer diet. More than one-half of cultivated land—much of it of poor quality—is planted in rice. Rubber, Cambodia’s other important export crop, is grown in plantations in the eastern part of the country. Corn, cassava, soybeans, palm sugar, and pepper are also grown commercially, while cucumbers and fruits, including mangoes, bananas, watermelons, and pineapples, are raised for local consumption. Chicken and pigs are widely domesticated, while cattle and water buffalo are used for agricultural work.
Freshwater fish are an important ingredient of the typical Cambodian diet. Most of the annual catch is consumed locally. Important types of fish caught include perch, carp, lungfish, and smelt. The Tonle Sap is the most concentrated source of freshwater fish in Southeast Asia. Commercial fishing in the Gulf of Thailand, on the other hand, is relatively undeveloped.
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