New Agriculturist Focus on /6 Focus on Agriculture after conflict

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Safe village booms

North west of Battambang, the village of Srayong - home to around 700 people - has been transformed. The area saw heavy fighting during the civil war, leaving it extensively mined, and causing the loss of 14 lives since the conflict ended. Over a two-year period, MAG cleared 15 hectares of land, removing 22 landmines and 104 items of UXO.

With the land declared safe, house building has expanded and roads, schools, wells and medical posts have been constructed where previously such work had been deemed too dangerous. Mom Nouen is one smallscale farmer who has enjoyed a substantial improvement in income since her land was cleared in 2003. Before demining, her family was limited to soybean and sesame production on farmland near their home. Now they have been able to plant coconut trees, oranges and jackfruit on a separate plot; to raise chickens and pigs, and to set up a rice mill and a local rice wine shop. Currently, Nouen earns about US$5.75 per day, compared to US$2.20 prior to UXO clearance, and she expects her income to rise further once the trees she has planted begin to bear fruit.

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