For Many Returned Migrants, Official Advice to Just Farm Is Unviable

Like many rural Cambodians, Sun Vith hoped to grow corn and cassava in Kamrieng district, not far from the border with Thailand. The 29-year-old borrowed a $2,700 microloan and his brother, Sun Vath, borrowed a further $630 to start the farm.

The harvest failed miserably in 2017 on account of a drought and insect infestation, leaving the brothers with only one option to pay back their hefty debt: migrate to Thailand.

For the last three years, the Sun brothers and their wives have been doing laborious work at Thai fruit farms, using weekly worker permits to travel across the Ban Laem International Border Crossing.

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