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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cambodia to educate remote communities about dangers of avian influenza

he Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Medicam will organize a community forum in Mondulkiri near the border with Vietnam on Thursday to educate remote communities about avian influenza and how they can protect their poultry and their families from contracting the deadly virus, said a press release on Tuesday.

"The event will be the first of a new series of community forums that Medicam, with support from FAO, will organize in areas of the country that have limited or zero access to TV and radio, to inform communities about the risks posed by avian influenza to their poultry and to their health," said Dr. Sin Somuny, Executive Director of Medicam, an umbrella organization of more than 100 health NGOs in Cambodia.

"The forum will veer away from the usual 'we tell you and you listen to us' speeches," said Guy Freeland, Team Leader of FAO's Avian Influenza Control Programme in Cambodia.

"We would like it to be an interactive exchange of information based on a consistent storyline depicted by a series of photographs that shows how avian influenza is transmitted from its source in poultry to other farms and villages," said Freeland.

The photo exhibit will be interspersed with posters promoting messages on how to stop the spread and protect both poultry and humans from the disease, said the release.

To reinforce the messages, TV and radio spots will be played continuously before the forum. Speakers and the audience are expected to engage in a two-way information exchange based on what is on the visual and verbal presentations, it added.

Cambodia has had 22 outbreaks in poultry since 2004 and seven human deaths, and the latest outbreak in poultry and in human was reported in Kampong Cham in April 2007.

Source: Xinhua
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Cambodia pushes plans to form regional rice exporters association

Cambodia has hosted a ministerial-level meeting of the Ayeyawady Chao Phraya Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) in an attempt to strengthen agricultural relations and cooperation with neighbors through the formation of an association of rice exporting countries, local media reported Wednesday.

The meeting, presided over by Cambodian Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh, was held on Sept. 24 at the Angkor Palace hotel in Siem Reap province with the participation of delegates from Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, the Koh Santepheap newspaper said.

Speaking at the meeting, Cham Prasidh said that he had shared discussions with foreign officials about the formation of an association of rice exporting countries, it said.

"Through the previous meetings, we have agreed on a concept paper which is the first draft to be put forward to senior officials from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam to make further discussion and approved during the five countries' summit to be held in October," Cham Prasidh was quoted as saying.

"The cooperation will push the member countries to (help) farmers increase output and seek markets for them," he added.

The talks were arranged following recommendations from Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen during the 12th ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) summit held in January at Cebu in the Philippines, the newspaper said.

ACMECS is a political, economic, and cultural organization with the members Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar, it said.

ACMECS nations produce 55 million tons of rice a year, 13 percent of the world's product and export around 13 million tons a year, approximately 45 percent of the world's exports, it added.

Source: Xinhua
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8,100 ha of rubber to be planted in Cambodia

Tan Bien-Kampong Thom Rubber Development Company has signed a contract to lease 8,100 ha of land in Kampong Thom province of Cambodia for rubber plantation and the building of a rubber latex plant.

The contract will be valid for 70 years and is running under a cooperation programme of the Vietnamese and Cambodian governments.

60 ha of rubber crops have been planted and nursery has already gone up on a 15 ha plot of land.

The project is estimated to cost 770 billion VND (48.1 million USD). Tan Bien Rubber Company contributed 51 percent of the capital, the Viet Nam Rubber Industry Corporation, 29 percent and the Song Da Corporation, 20 percent.

The Tan Bien-Kampong Thom Rubber Development Company plans to put 7,900 ha under rubber by 2010 and put a 26,000 tonne latex processing plant into operation by 2023.
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