Rat meat has become such a popular alternative to other dearer meats in Cambodia that its price has increased fourfold.
As inflation pushes the price of beef beyond the reach of the poor, increased demand for rat meat has pushed up rodent prices. A kilogram of rat meat now costs 5,000 riel (69p) compared with 1,200 riel last year. Spicy field rat dishes with garlic are increasingly on the menu as beef costs 20,000 riel a kilo.
Officials said rats were fleeing to higher ground from flooded areas of the lower Mekong Delta, making it easier for villagers to catch them.
"Many children are happy making some money from selling the animals to the markets, but they keep some for their family," said Ly Marong, an agriculture official. "Not only are our poor eating it, but there is also demand from Vietnamese living on the border with us."
He estimated that Cambodia supplied more than a tonne of live rats a day to Vietnam.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
A way of dealing with the food crisis...
Not a very appetizing one, though: