Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Silk village struggles to survive

Weavers in one of Cambodia’s most famous silk villages say they face severe food shortages after the price of raw silk traded to the Kandal community doubled within a year.

Representatives from leading silk organisations and residents of Lvea Krom village, Koh Dach, in Mok Kampol district, Kandal province, estimate that up to 80 percent of weavers have ceased work after the tradition became unprofitable.

A walk down the main street of Lvea Krom reveals empty looms in nearly every home. Some are being used as make-shift washing racks, ending generations of Cambodian textile production.

Van Chan Thoeu, 48, a widow who has an elderly mother and two children to support, is using up the last of her silk reserves before shutting up shop in one month’s time.

“We are in a very difficult situation and some people here are starving,” she explained on Tuesday.

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