Case for Cambodia- About Cambodia
Cambodia is a small country in Southeast Asia. It borders Thailand to the north and west, Laos to the northeast, and Vietnam to the east and southeast. It has a 443-kilometer (275 mi) coastline along the Gulf of Thailand. Some dominate features of Cambodia include a large lake centrally located called the Tonle Sap, the Bassac River Systems, and the Mekong River, which crosses the country from North to South. It also contains a few mountainous regions but about three quarters of the country lies at elevations less than 100 meters above sea level. Its weather is quite tropical with a dry season from November-May, with about 80% of the annual rainfall occurring during the wet season in June-October. Cambodia has moderate to high temperatures ranging from 69° F to 95° F approximately.
The culture is such that ―most Cambodians consider themselves to be Khmers, descendants of the Angkor Empire that extended over much of Southeast Asia and reached its zenith between the 10th and 13th centuries.‖ (World Factbook) Cambodia was occupied under the protection of France until after the Japanese occupation in World War II where Cambodia gained its full independence in 1953. In the 1970’s, the Khmer Rouge, a communist party lead by Pol Pot rose to power, executing more than 1.5 million Cambodians. ―A December 1978 Vietnamese invasion drove the Khmer Rouge into the countryside, began a 10-year Vietnamese occupation, and touched off almost 13 years of civil war.‖ (World Factbook) In 1999, the remaining Khmer Rouge surrendered and recent elections have been relatively peaceful. At the present there is quite a bit of government corruption slowing the revival of Cambodia. The road of development will be challenging because over half of the population is less than 21 years old. The youth has little education and productive skills due to the lack of basic infrastructure, especially in the countryside where more than three-quarters of the Cambodian labor force are agricultural.
Cambodia has a background in agriculture, especially with the products such as rice, rubber, corn, vegetables, cashews, tapioca, and silk. For a place like Cambodia, the soursop tree is another crop that has a lot of potential. The ESA Farm site has many soursop trees already planted. These trees have qualities of growing in warm tropical environments, and are easy to cultivate and the fruits have good yield. The nutritional and medicinal applications for all aspects of this tree are numerous.