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Cambodia > Pictures and travelogues > Paddy fields, fishing and breweries in Cambodia

Pictures from the economic life in Cambodia: paddy fields around Tonle Sap and Takeo, fishing, and Angkor beer. 

Paddy fields near Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia
Paddy fields on the banks of Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia.

In Cambodia, rice is the staple food of the population and the most important agricultural activity (90% of the cultivated land). In 2013 as in 2012, jasmine rice Cambodian, more exactly one of its varieties, was awarded best rice in the world by the Rice Trader World Rice Conference. The provinces around Tonle Sap (lake) are among the largest producers of rice in the country. The area of this large lake triples when the rising waters of the Mekong River flow into the lake during the wet season. It can then pass 3,500 km² at the lowest up to 12,000 km², or even much more.

Once one of the major exporters of rice in the world, Cambodia has barely covered its own needs during the recent crisis of the rice market. In 2008, export of rice has again been authorized. However in terms of values, Cambodia's current rice exports represent only a small percentage of the total exports of the country. The textile industry accounts for the bulk (70%) of the exports of the country.

Agriculture accounts for 30% of the GDP of Cambodia, the extile industry a bit more, and tourism a bit less. In 2005, oil deposits were discovered in Cambodian territorial waters. They should ultimately benefit the country's economy.


Rice fields near Takeo in Cambodia
Rice fields extending out of sight along the canals of Takeo in Cambodia. Panoramic view from the top of Mount Chiso.

In 
the southeast of Cambodia, the region of Takeo is located near the Tonle Bassac and the Mekong Delta. It is traversed by a dense network of canals, which originated in the pre-Angkorian Kingdom of Funan. It is a large producer of rice, fruit and fish. Rice is harvested three times a year since farmers use fast growing seeds purchased from Vietnam. Rice is largely sold to Vietnam.
 
Fishing nets of the Tonle Sap in Cambodia
Round trap fishing nets stored at the rear of a house in Tonle Sap (lake) in Cambodia.

Fishing is an important resource of Cambodia. Tonle Sap, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, is one of the most fish-bearing lakes in the world. Cambodia is the world's fourth largest producer of freshwater fish. In 2011, 445,000 tons of fish were caught in Tonle Sap.

Angkor beer, brewery in Sihanoukville
Cambrews Brewery, the producer of Angkor beer in Sihanoukville, Cambodia.

Cambrews Brewery, a 50 %subsidiary of Carlsberg Brewery, is the main brewery in Cambodia. It has been set in Sihanoukville since 1963. It produces mainly Angkor beer, a low fermentation pilsner beer.  It brews also a few other beers, including a black stout and a strong lager beer.

Angkor beer is the most widely consumed beer in Cambodia. It is available in 330ml can, 330ml pint bottle, and 640ml quart bottle.

Two other pilsner beers, Tiger and Anchor, are also found in Cambodia. They are produced by Cambodia Brewery Limited, which is located on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. Cambodia Brewery is a 50% subsidiary of Heineken. Bottles of Tiger are however imported from Singapore. Only Tiger cans and barrels are brewed in Cambodia. Twin Ice is an invention of Tiger to keep it fresh.

Lately, two other breweries started to produce beer in Cambodia. Kingdom Breweries is a craft beer brewery located in Phnom Penh along the banks of the Tonle Sap River. It produces mainly a pilsner beer (Pilsner Kingdom). Another brewery, Khmer Brewery, started its activities near Phnom Penh. Using German equipment (Ziemann) and imported raw materials from Europe, it produces a pilsner beer, named Cambodia Beer.


 

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Pictures from the economic life in Cambodia: paddy fields around Tonle Sap and Takeo, fishing, and Angkor beer. Cambodia travel guide with 200 nice pictures.