Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Travel journal gives a voice to Cambodian rural issues

Travel journal gives a voice to Cambodian rural issues

Chey Siyat works in the paddy fields in Kampot province
Chey Siyat works in the paddy fields in Kampot province. LEONARD REVES

Travel journal gives a voice to Cambodian rural issues

A Cambodian farmer was among eight women from rural areas across Asia who last week shared their views with global food policy-makers.

The Travelling Journal project, led by a coalition of NGOs, was presented to international leaders at the 40th edition of the Committee on World Food Security, which ran between October 7 and 11 in Rome.

Chey Siyat, 56, was one of the women to record her anxieties. A 56-year-old farmer from Kampot and a widowed mother with five children, Siyat reported that climate change had become a “challenge for women farmers, resulting in low crop yields, which means less income and ultimately migration for women to look for ‘greener pastures’”.

Female leaders from the Philippines, Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and China also shared their stories in the journal.

The womens’ concerns consisted of the loss of native land due to land and resource grabbing, pollution of the environment and food sources by toxic chemicals, and decreasing incomes of rural families, due to the rising costs of seeds and inputs.

The project was organised by the Asian Rural Women’s Coalition (ARWC), Pesticide Action Network Asia & the Pacific (PAN AP), and Oxfam’s East Asia GROW Campaign.

Sarojeni Rengam, executive director of PAN AP and a steering committee member of the ARWC, said: “The journal comes at a time when Asian rural women are increasingly marginalised and food is insecure, facing the onslaught of corporate agriculture and neo-liberal policies which benefit a few corporations, countries, and elites.

“The impact of these policies has caused the loss of livelihoods, destruction of the ecosystem and increased hunger and malnutrition.

“But women are confronting these challenges with strong determination for change, and providing solutions that protect their rights and safeguard their livelihoods, environment and their communities.”

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,