Agricultural productivity varies markedly across the Lower Mekong Basin. Production of rice is increasing everywhere, whereas per capita increases are marked in Vietnam and modest elsewhere. Fisheries are a major source of animal protein in all parts of the basin, especially in Cambodia and Vietnam. Production of capture fishery is static with some signs of overfishing, whereas aquaculture production in the delta is increasing rapidly. The increased population in 2050, together with changed diets, will require considerable increases in production. This requirement may be met by increasing the area under production, or by increasing the area under irrigation (with consequent downstream impacts). Production of capture fisheries is unlikely to increase, whereas aquaculture and mixed use rice-fish systems appear capable of greatly increased production. The anticipated changes to climate and hence flow are expected to affect agriculture and food production, and may make it more difficult to meet the increased food demand.
Water Policy (2009) 34 (1) 134-143 [DOI: 10.1080/02508060802666187]