Hungry for change: Cambodian farming faces fraught future

The year is 2040 and the time is coming up to midday. Lunch at her office desk is the sole option for Sopheap Jing, one of the many people in Cambodia and elsewhere whose careers have become something of a paradox.

Under-employed and over-qualified, Sopheap is nonetheless too busy with retraining to eat out. Her mundane desk job had for a time been farmed out to Chinese-designed robots manufactured in neighbouring Thailand – until it became apparent that the much-hyped machines were ill-equipped for some routine administrative tasks.

Unable to find work during the 5G- and 6G-enabled manufacturing revolution of the 2020s and 30s, Sopheap whiled away the years studying for two university degrees. Marginalised for so long, when she was finally hired she found herself unequipped for basic tasks like using spreadsheets and typing business letters, among the other things she needed to learn on the job.

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