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October 2006
Children help on the Farm

80% of the population are farmers. The Government own all land and people rent the land from the Government on a 20 year lease.
A typical farm is 1200 sq metres. The primary crop is rice with some corn. They also grow their own vegetables. They breed pigs, chickens and ducks for food and for sale. They get their income from selling the excess rice, selling pigs and selling wood from the forest.
One of the small farms we visited (and had tea) had 1000 sq m and produced one ton of rice a year (one harvest). The farmer earned about $2000 a year ie about £1200. He had to feed his wife and 3 children.

The village people seem to eat almost anything they can catch. Every morning they go out hunting (for flies, snakes and vermin).

To put that into context – a dinner with beer and water would cost us around £3 – clearly something that they could not afford. The food is typically Asian, except not very spicy. Rice is heart of the diet and that’s what most farming is devoted to.
Hunting for vermin

Catching worms

Catching flies

Text and Photos Copyright Nova Fisher 2006