August 31, 2008 by Daisy Rose
Phnom Penh: The price of rat meat has quadrupled in Cambodia this year as inflation has put other meat beyond the reach of the poor, officials said on Wednesday.
With consumer price inflation at 37 per cent, according to the latest central bank estimate, demand has pushed a kilogramme of rat meat up to around 5,000 riel (RM4) from 1,200 riel (0.99 sen) last year.
Spicy field rat dishes with garlic thrown in have become particularly popular at a time when 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 rodents to the markets, but they keep some for their family,” Ly Marong, an agriculture official, said by telephone from the Koh Thom district on the border with Vietnam.
He estimated that Cambodia supplied more than a tonne of live rats a day to Vietnam. — Reuters