The governor of Kratie province this week sent a letter to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries requesting the reallocation of more than 3,000 hectares of economic land concession (ELC) property to villagers.
In a letter dated Monday, Kratie Governor Sar Chamrong appealed for more than half of a 5,088-hectare ELC granted to rubber company Chan Sophea Development Co in 2010 be taken from company control and officially given to residents who now live and farm there.
Families living in the area have disputed the ELC, and argue that Chan Sophea Development has not used any of that 3,302 hectares of land, Chamrong’s letter says.
But the rubber firm has said they plan to develop it in the future.
“The people say they will not vacate the company’s unoccupied land, and that they want to continue cultivating there,” Chamrong’s letter says. “They will face problems if they are forced to leave, so the provincial authorities would like to strongly request giving them the land to end the dispute.”
Officials from Chan Sophea Development could not be reached for comment.