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12 Feb 2014

Hul Reaksmey & Zsombor Peter, Cambodia Daily

Ministries to Help Farmers Hurt by Sugar Plantations [Cambodia]

The government…agreed to a comprehensive solution for rural families who have lost their land to...agricultural plantations exporting sugar to the European Union (E.U.) duty free and will meet again early next month to discuss details. The decision was made at a meeting between ministers, the E.U.’s ambassador to Cambodia and sugar plantation representatives, and marks the first time the government has publicly agreed to address the problem. Hundreds of families from Koh Kong to Kompong Speu province have accused the sugar plantations, which benefit from a free trade scheme—Everything But Arms...of illegally forcing them off their land…State-run news agency Agence Kampuchea Presse reported…that compensation was on the table and that a “third party” may be needed to evaluate the system…to decide how much each family should be compensated…