Friday, October 04, 2013

Blog #4 Conflict in Cambodia

Cambodia Sugar Cane Conflict Over Trade and Land

In Cambodia sugar cane fields are becoming an issue for the people living there and various other groups. Better technology is being brougt into Cambodia and allowing for a mass number of fields to be created for sugar cane. New sugar plantations are creating jobs for a range of skills from farmers to migrant workers, and even provide jobs for skilled factory workers. The money made from trade and export has helped to create small schools, water treatment plant, and build roads. But the incompatibility comes into play when Cambodia continues to buy thousands of acres of land and pushes the farmers off the land with little compensation. The compensation is a lot less than what the land that they already own is worth. The export of sugar is being protested by the farmers, and other small groups, such as the non-profit Community Legal Education Center in Phnom Penh, because the trade that is supposed to help this poor country is displacing the very people (farmers) that are supposed to be on the receiving end of the help. The head of the European Union’s Delegation to Cambodia counteracted these concerns by pointing out that the rise in exports and trade has helped Cambodia “triple the average income per person and reduced poverty to a 5th of the population”. The Ambassador, Jean Francois Cautain feels that if the export and trade cease to exist the country will suffer a huge loss.

After reading the article I noticed that even though there was displaced workers who were unsatisfied with the amount of compensation given to them for their land, the government still continued to look at the situation as more people have benefited from the trade and export than have been harmed in the process. Although the export and trade of sugar has helped to bring in more money for schools, water treatment plant, and new roads, the people that are benefiting from these luxuries are not the displaced workers who have been uprooted from their land. In the article a displaced worker stated that even though there was an adequate water supply he was relocated in an area where he has to rely on water form newly dug wells near the edge of a valley. This shows that the displaced workers are alienated from the things that they had a hand in establishing. If the displaced workers are compensated fairly and included in the new luxuries the trade and relocation will not be as big of an issue. With that being said the more developed technology is the more it effects people around the world in both small and big ways.

Cynthia Brooks


10:00 am

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