S LASH-and-burn agriculture remains a problem in provinces such as Koh Kong - and
at least some farmers think it is good for the land.
Mut Mean, a farmer
in Koh Kong's Dong Tong district, told the Post that burning away trees and
scrub helped farm crops and new plants to grow because ash was good for soil.
Mean, through not a believer in environmental problems such as erosion, said: "I
don't know what the advantages or disadvantages [of slash-and-burn] are, but we
have been doing it for generations."
This dry season, like any other, has
seen villagers clearing land to live and produce crops on in many remote areas
of the province. Traditionally, villagers have to move on to live in another
area - causing more slash-and-burn - if one of their number dies.
provinces further north, particularly around the Tonle Sap Lake, villages are
also reported to start fires to flush out animals such as snakes, turtles and
rabbits to hunt.
Koh Kong's Deputy Governor Van Kirirot, believes the
government will have a hard time persuading villagers to stop burning
"I think the tribes want to live and do whatever they want. We
can't force them to do anything if they don't want to."