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Agriculture farming cambodia news 2015 cambodia news 1 june 2015 khmer agriculture 2015 Agriculture, accounting for 90 percent of GDP in 1985 and employing approximately 80 percent of the work force, is the traditional mainstay of the Cambodian economy. Rice, the staple food, continued to be the principal commodity in this sector. Rice production, a vital economic indicator in Cambodia's agrarian society, frequently fell far short of targets, causing severe food shortages in 1979, 1981, 1984, and 1987. The plan's 1987 target for the total area to be devoted to rice cultivation was 1.77 million hectares, but the actual area under cultivation in 1987 amounted to only 1.15 million hectares. Collectivization of the agricultural sector under the Heng Samrin regime included the formation of solidarity groups. As small aggregates of people living in the same locality, known to one another, and able to a certain extent to profit collectively from their work, they were an improvement over the dehumanized, forced-labor camps and communal life of the Pol Pot era.In 1986, more than 97 percent of the rural population belonged to the country's more than 100,000 solidarity groups. Unlike the large communes of the Khmer Rouge, the solidarity groups were relatively small. They consisted initially of between twenty and fifty families and were later reduced to between seven and fifteen families. The groups were a form of "peasants' labor association," the members of which continued to be owners of the land and of the fruits of their labor.The solidarity groups evolved into three categories, each distinct in its level of collectivization and in its provisions for land tenure. The first category represented the highest level of collective labor. The second category was described as "a transitional form from individual to collective form" at the KPRP National Conference in November 1984.The third category was classified as the family economy. As in the second category, the group allocated land to families at the beginning of the season, and farm implements continued to be their private property. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agriculture_in_Cambodia