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Abstract

Countries in Asia have undergone a process of transformation in the past four decades as both real incomes and the share of populations living in urban areas have increased. Evidence shows accompanying shifts in food consumption as well as production across the region, but how much each country has shifted domestic production and which farmers in particular are shifting is unclear. There has been a noticeable shift in consumption patterns away from staples (mainly rice), toward high-value commodities such as fruits, vegetables, and meat. In response, we see growing diversification in agricultural production with a steady decrease in the share of harvested area growing rice and an accompanying increase in the share of harvested area growing horticulture. In this paper we use household survey data from Cambodia, Vietnam, and Myanmar to explore the extent of crop diversification at the household level, analyze differences between farmers who primarily grow rice and those who choose to diversify, and explore the factors that encourage them to do so.

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