Convert food crops to rubber, says Ministry of Agriculture.

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Convert food crops to rubber, says Ministry of Agriculture.

Postby Anchor Moy » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:34 pm

According to this article, the government plan to encourage small farmers to switch from food crops to growing rubber.

Just off the top of my head, this seems like a bad idea for a number of reasons. thumbdown
I'm no expert, but a lot of noise has been made recently about Cambodia's reliance on other countries for food. At the moment, Cambodia doesn't grow nearly enough food for the population, and the population is increasing. Food crops need to be increased, not replaced with cash crops.
Huge amounts of land in Cambodia are already being used for cash crops like rubber and palm oil. The market for rubber is volatile and open to speculation, and there is no safety net in place to assist small farmers if there is a sharp downturn in world rubber prices.

Is this new project a ploy to get a $13M low interest loan from a foreign aid agency, that can then be distributed by the generous government to the restless poor who are suffering from land grabs and logging ?
Or it could also simply be a reflex from the MOA, seeing $$ because global rubber prices are suddenly way up ?

Or am I just a bitter and twisted cynic :twisted: ? I probably wouldn't normally have even noticed this article, but for the fact that the MOA was banging on recently about how they were planning to help small farmers grow and market more produce for the Cambodian market, and this is such a contradiction.

Government plugs rubber switch

The government is seeking intrepid smallholder farmers to pilot a project that would transform 6,000 hectares of cropland in two provinces into a patchwork of small rubber plantations.

The Ministry of Agriculture is eyeing 5,000 hectares of land in Ratanakkiri and 1,000 hectares in Battambang for the project, and has already secured interest from thousands of smallholder farmers, according to Pol Sopha, general director of the ministry’s rubber development department.

“In the first step, we identified 2,500 farming families in two provinces, Battambang, Ratanakkiri, who were willing to invest in growing rubber and ready to convert their land from crop farms to rubber plantations,” he said yesterday.

The ministry is currently preparing a feasibility study on the substitute crop project.

If approved by the ministers of agriculture and finance, the government will apply for a $13 million loan from French development agency AFD to cover the low-interest loans it will distribute to farmers that sign on.

The terms of the loans to be distributed to farmers have not been decided, he added.

The government’s push for smallholder rubber plantations comes as rubber prices show a bounce after a five-year global supply glut that depressed prices. The price for natural rubber recently topped $2,400 per tonne, making the cash crop profitable once again, according to Sopha...

http://www.phnompenhpost.com/business/g ... ber-switch

Rubber prices are up again now, but the situation was dire for rubber producers a little over a year ago : http://www.phnompenhpost.com/business/r ... ounce-back

Previous rubber thread shows the ups and downs : post154755.html?hilit=rubber#p154755
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Re: Convert food crops to rubber, says Ministry of Agriculture.

Postby bolueeleh » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:16 pm

what an ass of an idea, rubber price fluctuates immensely, controlled by major producing countries like malaysia and subsidised heavily too, with very well established industry and infrastructure, these fuckers just want money immediately to roll into their pockets, these idiots needs to be hang by their balls
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Re: Convert food crops to rubber, says Ministry of Agriculture.

Postby juansweetpotato » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:09 pm

Ratanakkiri? That was ear-marked for potatoes I thought? Seems a bit crazy, but the farmers would like the quick cash. Still plenty of room for vegetables to be grown. It's just the will and some planning that's lacking. Government initiative, monopoly market and all that...

Actually, thinking about that 200 mil veg import story - the gov blamed Vietnam for supplying it with bad quality veg. I can't see how they can go to China and buy the cheapest shit to sell at the most expensive prices here, and have me not suppose that they are doing the exact same thing with veg from Vietnam. The last thing they want is to see good quality cheap veg appearing on the market. Which is why it hasn't.
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Re: Convert food crops to rubber, says Ministry of Agriculture.

Postby John Bingham » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:09 am

Seems like they didn't think this one through too well, as above, the price fluctuates wildly, plus it takes quite about 7 years before the trees are mature enough to produce anything. Potatoes are at least annual and you can eat them, good luck with trying to eat an immature rubber tree when you run out of cash.
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Re: Convert food crops to rubber, says Ministry of Agriculture.

Postby bolueeleh » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:49 am

this guy can eat rubber

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Re: Convert food crops to rubber, says Ministry of Agriculture.

Postby hanno » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:08 pm

good luck with trying to eat an immature rubber tree when you run out of cash
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Re: Convert food crops to rubber, says Ministry of Agriculture.

Postby taabarang » Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:42 pm

It takes 5-7 years for a rubber tree to begin to produce latex depending on weather and the species. There are a few plantations near my home where they grow pineapples during the first two years. After that there is too much shade to grow anything. Rubber trees must be replaced after 7 years or so of production.
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Re: Convert food crops to rubber, says Ministry of Agriculture.

Postby juansweetpotato » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:38 pm

taabarang wrote:
Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:42 pm
It takes 5-7 years for a rubber tree to begin to produce latex depending on weather and the species. There are a few plantations near my home where they grow pineapples during the first two years. After that there is too much shade to grow anything. Rubber trees must be replaced after 7 years or so of production.
Are you calling the farmers idiots?
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Re: Convert food crops to rubber, says Ministry of Agriculture.

Postby taabarang » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:48 pm

"Are you calling the farmers idiots?

No. I was speaking of only what I have reason to believe is true. But do tell where your conclusion of my post came from.
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Re: Convert food crops to rubber, says Ministry of Agriculture.

Postby juansweetpotato » Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:53 pm

taabarang wrote:
Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:48 pm
"Are you calling the farmers idiots?

No. I was speaking of only what I have reason to believe is true. But do tell where your conclusion of my post came from.
I have no idea what you were trying to say then. The OP said about the farmers taking up the government offer, and you didn't seem to disagree with what Bingham etc were saying. I, in fact, took your post as backing them up on their opinion.

What do you think of the farmers accepting the offer? I wouldn't be surprised if it's to do with Vietnam or perhaps China. Maybe they signed a contact guaranteeing a certain price for a number of years. As per usual the reporting is bloody atrocious.
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