Although international aid has saved Kampuchea from starvation, it seems unlikely that the country will soon become self-dependent.
GV Workers in rice field in Kampuchea.
GV Workers milling rice. (6 SHOTS)
SV Tractor wheel PAN TO workers on tractor.
GV Workers in rice field. Highway nearby. (2 SHOTS)
GV Workers leave fields for home with rice.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Although international aid has saved Kampuchea from starvation, it seems unlikely that the country will soon become self-dependent. Shortages of rice seed, farming machinery and the recent drought have badly affected the government's crop forecasts.
SYNOPSIS: There's barely a week to go before the rice transplanting season, but it's already clear that the rice harvest is below target. Despite all the efforts since the overthrow of the Pol Pot regime, food shortages still remain. Milling is still carried out by hand, since much of the machinery brought into the country was reportedly destroyed or badly damaged by the remnants of the Pol Pot government, as they escaped to the hills.
There are few tractors that escaped their attention - just another problem to be added to shortages of rice seed, fertilizer and poor irrigation.
Assuming the country harvest five hundred tonnes of rice, about nine hundred thousand tonnes are needed to feed the population. Already the government has predicted a shortage of four hundred thousand tonnes next year.
The new harvest begins in December, but it's clear that international aid is vital until Kampuchea's food difficulties are over.