Fishing Village Pins Hopes on Abattoir Cash Cow

Cambodia Daily
4 September 2014

PREK TOAL VILLAGE, Preah Sihanouk province – Like most people who live in this small village near the border of Kampot province, An Mit is broke.

The 21-year-old, who has made a meager living selling fish and crabs or timber cut illegally in Bokor National Park, wants to diversify.

“There are no more fish in the sea and no more big trees to cut in the forest,” Mr. Mit said, sitting beneath his wooden home on stilts.

“Because of overfishing and deforestation, we can no longer survive like this,” he said. “The only money I can get now is from farming rice.”

However, a solution to the young man’s increasingly desperate situation could be coming by way of a slaughterhouse under construction near the village, which is little more than a strip of homes lining a kilometer-long stretch of National Road 3.

Already, more than 30 locals are working to construct the abattoir, which is being built to Australian standards after its government agreed to send 10,000 head of cattle here beginning later this year.

Phoeun Nam, chief of Toek Thla commune, said many of the struggling farmers and fishers in the community are also eyeing employment on the half-built killing floor.

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