Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fury over flood relief work



Fury over flood relief work

Fury over flood relief work

T HE Minister of Agriculture Kong Sam Ol is furious with his technical staff for not being more vigorous in helping people to plant crops in flood affected areas to avoid famine.

Addressing Ministry of Agriculture staff from all the provinces Sam Ol angrily said: "You all reported to me that you have done very well [helping people] to sow the existing rice fields but as I know only 75 percent of the 2.2 million hectares of farm land has been planted. Agricultural staff are good at spinning lies."

He said staff chiefs had often sent false reports about the agriculture work their departments had done for the Ministry.

The meeting between Sam Ol and his technical staff was held on Sept 30 at the Ministry of Agriculture to assess the damage done by flooding, to give estimates of the resulting food shortage that will arise, to find ways of solving the problem and to assess the costs of rehabilitation.

Sam Ol said the vital means for agricultural officials to rescue people from starvation this year was by motivating them to plant alternative crops such as cassava, potato and jam instead of rice in the flood affected areas.

Cassava, potato and jam crops can be grown in about one month, whereas rice takes about four months to grow, so it is not too late in the season to plant these crops, said Sam Ol.

Echoing the famous quote 'If they can't eat bread let them eat cake' Sam Ol said: "We could eat cassava or sweet potato instead if our rice is destroyed.

"But the only thing you [agricultural staff] have done to try to resolve the disaster affecting the farmers is to ask the Ministry of Agriculture and some NGOs for rice seed and fertilizer."

The minister also asked his technical officials to restore the peoples living standard by persuading them to grow vegetables and fruit trees.

Sam Ol said after last year's food shortage the people were looking to this year for a good crop. But he said: "This year we have met catastrophe. 130,000 hectares of rice fields had been damaged by floods."

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting