Rubber in Kompong Thom’s Tumring
It is my pleasure to return to Kompong Thom this time to inaugurate the latex processing plant as well as to symbolically tap the rubber from the tree that I planted in 2001. On October 18, in the district of Kroch Chhma, I initiated a number of basic reforms, some of them related to the return of land to farmers for growing crops other than rubber but also allowing the Rubber Company of Kompong Cham’s Chub to invest in planting rubber in the province of Kompong Thom.
Some ill-intent politicians and their backers have said that there was not even a single tree of rubber in Tumring. We have come and see for our own eyes now. This report has brought about a belief for someone or countries that Tumring has not got even a single rubber tree. I do not want to say who or which country made the report. My question is whether they want our people to go on living in need or wish to see our people enjoy the fruit of development and poverty alleviation.
Some people are against the development of Tumring. Some are in the opposition party and now that they left the party they said to me it was their objective to oppose everything. They do not care about the necessity of the development but single out the problem and put the blame of the Royal Government.
Success in Tumring
It would have been a failure to my recommendation if there were no effective mechanism led by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Rubber Plantation of Chub, which put in its resources. It is indeed incomparable to what we have now. HE Chan Sarun just mentioned that there would need to have one day, with the accompanied soldiers to come visit Tumring. As I am coming here I see that there is a need for the road and bridges to be built.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation once again to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Rubber Company of Chub, and also directly to the Rubber Company of Tumring for their efforts to make the cultivation of rubber a success. What I am so impressed is perhaps the policy that we have given out three hectares of land for each household so that they can grow rubber, with the assistance in all about 1,800 US dollars on land preparation, mechanical hole digging and rubber trees.
I would urge our people to grow more rubber. I see that growing rubber would provide higher income to every household. In the last three years we have added some 10,000 hectares of rubber in every province where rubber can be grown – Kompong Cham, Kratie, Ratanakiri, Battambang, Pailin, Preah Vihear, and Kompong Thom. I want more Tumrings in the country.
Recommendations for MAFF
I also would warn those who have been given land for cultivation but do not grow anything that the land will be confiscated. The land should be given to those with capital to invest. I would take this opportune moment to recall my six recommendations to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries – do not encroach land in people’s ownership, reserve land for cultivation in face of 2.4% population growth, make sure the people benefit from all infrastructural development for livelihood as well as in cultivation, find way to integrate people’s subsistence activities with investments, make sure children of the staff and workers have access to education and work, and make sure development will be environmentally friendly./.