Chinese Company to Develop Plantation in Kompong Speu

A Chinese-owned company has signed a 70-year contract with the government to convert 4,100 hectares in Kompong Speu province into a cashew, potato and palm tree farm, an official in the Ministry of Agriculture said Tuesday.

Henan Cambodia Economic and Trade Development, which signed the contract July 29, plans to employ several thousand former soldiers and villagers on the former military site in Phnom Sruoch district, said Kith Seng, deputy director of development planning for the Ministry of Agriculture.

“I think at least 3,000 jobs will be available to demobilized soldiers,” he said.

Minister of Agriculture Chhea Song said he could not remember how much the company paid for the contract.

Henan company officials could not be reached for comment.

Men Sivorn, deputy RCAF commander for Kompong Speu province, said Wednesday that at least 400 military families are farming vegetables and fruit on the land, owned by Military Division 3 since 1993.

“It is good if [Henan] can employ demobilized soldiers on this site,” Men Sivorn said. “I’m happy when I hear [Henan will develop the land] and I hope the soldier families’ living conditions will be improved in the future.”

However, Men Sivorn added that many of these individuals need training to produce crops at the level of a professional farmer.

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