Cambodia goes organic

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From the BBC:

With the future of the garment sector uncertain, Cambodia is looking for other sources of income - and one of the areas under consideration is organic farming. The government says it hopes the country could become the "green farm of Asia", and export its produce to Europe and the United States.

But there are co-ordination problems to overcome:

For the concept to work, everyone in a particular area has to switch at the same time - so the arguments have to be compelling.

The three main points are all extremely appealing to people living in Cambodia's impoverished rural provinces: lower expenditure on fertilisers, an increased selling price for the rice, and improved health through reduced exposure to chemicals... Former Commerce Secretary Sok Siphana was the driving force behind the project..."Cambodia is by default an organic country," [said former Commerce Secretary Sok Siphana]

By contrast, agricultural sectors protected by high tariffs tend to use a lot of artificial fertilizer.

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