Doubts raised over plan to urge former migrants to farm

Pai Pun was excited when he was invited to join a meeting in May on a new work opportunity at Kantraing commune office in Siem Reap province’s Prasat Bakong district after returning to Cambodia from Thailand at the start of the Covid-19 lockdown there two months earlier.

He and 30 other migrant workers sat close together on long wooden benches while officials from the provincial agriculture department asked them if they were interested in growing vegetables or raising farm animals.

“I told them [commune officials] I am very interested,” he recalled in an interview earlier this month. “I was so happy, but now I feel there has been no progress because I did not hear from them.”

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