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Journal of Asian Economics


Rice is the staple food in many Asian countries. The study attempts to understand the underlying issues of low rice farm productivity and whether progress made on this front will lead to greater market participation. Employing a control function to address the endogeneity issue and using the latest survey of Cambodia’s agriculture sector, the paper finds that rice farmers are more likely to commercialize their crops when productivity rises. The probability rises by about 20 % with a ton increase in rice yields. This has an important implication; policies and reforms targeting farm productivity not only boost rice production, but also promote commercialization and possibly exports. In addition, enhancing productivity hinges, among others, on improvement in general education, expansion of irrigation, and pesticide usage, as well as increased adoption of aromatic paddies, sticky paddies, and modern varieties.

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