World No-Food Day: CEDAC Said that Around 100,000 Families in Cambodia Lack Sufficient Food – Saturday, 18.10.2008
The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 582
“Phnom Penh: At present, starving people are more numerous than before – around 150 million people. This is according to a statement of the co-chair of the People’s Coalition on Food Security, Mr. Antonio Tujan, during a World Food Day celebration on 16 October 2008.
“Dr. Yang Saing Koma, the director of the Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture – CEDAC – said during a press conference on 16 October 2008 at the organization’s headquarters in Phnom Penh, that around 100,000 families in Cambodia, corresponding to half a million people, lack food. In 2008, Cambodia faces the challenge of a food crisis because of the high price of food in the world. Mr. Yang Saing Koma added that CEDAC works with farmers from 2,000 villages countrywide and had discovered that 50%, or half of farmers who do rice farming, could not produce sufficient food during the year. Among 1.8 million farmers’ families doing rice farming, 500,000 to 600,000 families could not produce enough food. 800,00 families could afford to buy rice themselves over one month during the late rainy season.
“CEDAC found that this is because land to produce food does not increase. Although the agriculturally usable land of the whole country is six million hectares, but food can only be produced from more than three million hectares at the present time. Another factor is the lack of rain or that the rain comes late, and the irrigation system can serve only 40% of the total land. In Takeo and Kompong Chhnang, 80% of the farmers own rice fields smaller than one hectare per family.
“The executive director of the Pesticide Action Network Asia & the Pacific [“- Empowering People for Change -”] Ms. Sarojini Rengam, said during the World Food Day on 16 October 2008 that this was a message to show the people’s strategies to solve the food crisis. This anniversary builds up public understanding about major factors that result in food crisis [chemical fertilizers, chemical pesticides], and it acts to increase the people’s voice against new policies and their effects.
“A farmer, Bouen Sophal, who is the community representative of Dang Tung district of Kampot, who also attended this anniversary celebration, reported that some farmers in Kampot face difficulties to buy chemical fertilizer from Vietnam which is expensive. After the paddy rice is cultivated, the paddy rice is sold, but it is not enough just to repay the money for the chemical fertilizer. Farmers buy chemical fertilizer from different companies and merchants, and most of them borrow money from other people or are in dept, and after they sold their paddy rice, what they get is almost insufficient to repay the dept. During each cultivation reason, farmers sell tens of thousands of tonnes of paddy rice to Vietnam. When they run out of paddy rice to eat, they buy rice from Vietnam. Vietnamese rice is expensive and contains lots of chemical substances. This seriously affects their health. Nowadays, the farmers’ community at Dang Tung have organized a cooperative and have created twenty paddy rice banks to help any farmer who lacks food during the latter part of the rainy season, to rescue them from not being able to have food.
“Dr. Koma called on the government to expand more social cultivating concession land, rather than expanding economic concessions, to encourage farmers not to continue to sell their rice fields, to expand more community markets to facilitate the sale of the farmers’ products, and to increase and enlarge the farmers’ ability to produce and to keep seeds at their communities.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4719, 18.10.2008
Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 18 October 2008
Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1771, 18.10.2008
- Samdech Hun Sen Rejects the Intention to Send the Border Dispute Problem to the [24-25 October 2008] Asia-Europe Meeting [in Beijing, China]
- In Five to Ten Years, Phnom Penh Will Have Grown [from 375] to 758 Square Kilometers [according to the Phnom Penh governor Mr. Kep Chuktema]
- The UN Secretary General Calls on the World to Response to Starvation and Poverty
Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #266, 18.10.2008
- [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Son Chhay: I Still Hope that the Sam Rainsy Party Will Receive Positions in the National Assembly Commissions
Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #120, 18.10.2008
- Samdech Hun Sen: The Situation Turns Normal and Cambodia Continues to Be Patient to Solve the Problem Peacefully, Not Needing an Intervention from Other Countries
- The Cambodian Government [through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs] Reacts against the Bangkok Post of Siam [Thailand] Which Made a Publication with No Basis in Reality [Cambodia Is accused of setting new mines]
- The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Continues to Detain Ieng Sary [a former Khmer Rouge leader] until the Day of His Trial
Actually, the Cambodian chargé d’affaires at the Cambodian embassy in Bangkok was given a document – an aide mémoire – with the request to respond after the Cambodian government would have compared notes – it is no an accusation against the Cambodian authorities, but a request “to investigate whether any individual has violated legislation banning the use of anti-personnel landmines” – describing also in detail some of the background for this request being presented in this way.
The following is quoted from the Bangkok Post:
“The Thai government viewed this incident [in which two Thai soldiers stepped on mines and lost limbs] with great alarm, as it indicated a violation of the 1997 Ottawa Convention to Ban Anti-Personnel Landmines as well as a threat to international peace,” said the deputy director-general of the Information Department, Thani Tongpakdi.
“The Thai Mines Action Centre and other non-governmental organisations found the PMN2-type mines at Phu Ma Khua…
“The mines that were retrieved by the team also appear to be newly-planted as no rust was found on them,” said Mr Thani.
“The government wants Cambodian authorities to investigate whether any individual has violated legislation banning the use of anti-personnel landmines.”
“The Phnom Penh government submitted a report to the United Nations secretary-general in 2002 noting that 240 PMN2-type landmines from a total of 3,405 were transferred from its Interior Ministry to the Cambodian Mine Action Center for development and training.
“Thailand would like the Cambodian government to verify where the remaining mines are.”
Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6476, 18-19.10.2008
- Statement of the Ministry of Foreign of Cambodia: Unilateral Mine Clearing [by Thailand at Veal Intry] Is a Violation
- The Budget for the Military Will Be Increased during This Fourth Term, the National Assembly Plans to Permit Samdech Hun Sen to Use Expenditures for the Military
- Fuel Prices in New York – US$69.85 – and in London – US$66.32 – Drop to Almost the Price Level before the Increases
- A Fax from Samdech Euv [the Father King] to the Minister of the Royal Palace Samdech Kong Som Ol [to grant US$1,000 to the wives or families of the compatriots who died because of the confrontation with Thailand, or who die from accidents at the Preah Vihear Temple, the Ta Moan Temple, and the Ta Krabei Temple; for those who are injured, US$500 will be provided]
- Old Mother  and  Daughter Were Robbed and Killed Cruelly [with a cleaver and an ax – the robbers are not yet identified – Koh Soutin, Kompong Cham]
Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3591, 18.10.2008
- Khieu Kanharith Criticizes a Siamese Parliamentarian [Sukhumbhand Paripatra – สุขุมพันธุ์ บริพัตร – Member of Parliament with the Democrat Party; former Deputy Foreign Minister] Who Made the Accusation that There Might Be Forces of a Third Country Coming to Cambodia
- International Community Expresses Concern over the Khmer-Siamese Border Dispute that Could Lead to Serious Armed Conflict [China, Malaysia, Singapore, the European Union, and the United States of America request Cambodian and Thailand to solve the dispute peacefully]
Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4719, 18.10.2008
- World No-Food Day: CEDAC Said that Around 100,000 Families in Cambodia Lack Sufficient Food
- Thai Army Commander-in-Chief [Anupong Paochinda] Tells the Thai Prime Minister [Somchai Wongsawat] to Resign
Have a look at the last editorial: If the alternative is peace or war, the option can only be peace.