The Royal Government Is Disappointed about Land Concessions Provided to Private Companies – Tuesday, 28.7.2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Posted on 29 July 2009
The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 623

“Low grade forest land, eroded partly because of a lack of forest coverage, has been provided as concession land to some local investors in order to develop agriculture and agro-industry, based on available land, but so far, some local investment companies have not acted and there is little action on some land while the owners of the companies put blame on the global economic downturn and say that they cannot do anything because there is no market demand.

“An official working at the Ministry of Agriculture, who asked not to be named, said recently that the Royal Government has provided millions of hectares of concession land in some provinces to some local investment companies to grow agricultural and agro-industry crops, in order to counter the global economic crisis. The Royal Government has successfully increased agricultural output during the last five years, making the economic situation in Cambodia to suffer only a minor crisis that did not affect the inflation rate, as the Riel remains stable so far. The concession of land focusing on local eroded forest land aims at promoting agriculture to withstand the economic crisis, and the Royal Government expected that those companies would produces paddy rice, and other agricultural and agro-industrial crops. But by now, those companies have not acted, and some companies are clearing the remaining forest very slowly, intending to delay developing the contracted concession lands.

“The same official added that not only the Ministry of Agriculture, but also the Royal Government, which had provided eroded forest land to those companies, do not understand their intention, avoiding to begin operations in response to the Royal Government’s aim. Most companies said that they have not finished clearing the remaining forest and land, or have not yet checked what kinds of crops to plant. These are pretexts they use so that they are not blamed by the Royal Government, though they do not fulfill the Royal Government’s plan to act against the economic crisis from which Cambodia is suffering like other countries. Even though the effect is small, the Royal Government is concerned about it.

“Cambodian economists said that if private companies would fulfill the intention of the Royal Government, Cambodia would be able to prevent inflation, including national and international economic problems of the people. Also the head of the Royal Government, Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen, had called on all farmers to do rice cultivation twice a year in areas with irrigation systems. If farmers can cultivate twice a year and not let their land lay unused, 80% of all farmers would be able to improve their living in some degree, starting from the struggle for their own family economy. As the people in these companies make little effort and do not involve many citizens, the Royal government is deeply disappointed about these local investment companies that have not fulfilled the Royal Government’s plan, which is to strongly encourage agriculture so that no agricultural land in Cambodia is left unused and does not produce anything of value.”

Krong Long Vek, Vol.7, #162, 27.7.2009
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Tuesday, 28 July 2009


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