Among the issues playing on the minds of residents of Kroach Village in Damrei Phong, two have been in focus more than others in the past year: the effects of the floods on farming, and the imminent arrival of rubber companies on their land.“Following the drought there are few supplies of good seed, so I stopped farming vegetables in February to concentrate on cassava, plus I need to spend $15-$20 on supplies each time I want to sow seeds in my vegetable garden! We are growing white corn as well, but the market price this year is very low and much of our product was destroyed by the rain. The estimated difference is about 50%, as last year, 2 hectares was $5,000 but this year we'll only get $4,000 for 3 hectares. Talking about rice, I was very lucky as my family and another two or three families enjoyed a higher yield of rice because our fields are located in a hilly area rich in natural fertiliser after the floods, but other villagers were impacted negatively by the flood and got much less yield. The unusual rains and the market price of cassava have affected the villagers in Kroach and people in Damrei Phong commune as well. Especially those who have loans from micro credit institutions and are now going to find it hard to make their payments.”“One Cambodian company is now clearing forest not too far from the village's boundary and another two Vietnamese companies are staying silent about their plans. It will be a very bad thing for the villagers as the three companies' land boundaries is located close to the village's land and some parts are actually farming land currently held by villagers...”So now is an important time in the lives of those resident to Kroach and other villages in the Damrei Phong district of Kratie. The floods may have been last year, the but the effects go on and on, and with rubber companies on their doorstep, their situation may continue to be a precarious one.Please consider helping CRDT to help the people of Damrei Phong commune in 2012. There is still much to do.
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