If the royal oxen are to be believed, Cambodia will see fair harvests of rice, corn and beans in the upcoming year.
In the annual royal plow ceremony Friday, which marks the beginning of the rainy season, the oxen chose those three staples following three rounds of plowing, foregoing water, grass and wine.
Their crop prediction also indicates the Cambodian people will be spared calamity, disease and natural disaster, royal astronomer Kang Ken said.
The royal ceremony was attended by King Norodom Sihamoni, National Assembly President Heng Samrin and other dignitaries. Not in attendance were Prime Minister Hun Sen and Senate President Chea Sim.
“I am very happy for the result of the royal plough ceremony,” said Meas Kunthea, a farmer from Svay Rieng province.
“I am very happy because my home village plants rice, corn and bean and will have fair production in this year,” said Kratie province farmer Koa Top. “I’m not concerned about my agricultural crops.”
The high price of rice did cast a pall over the royal ceremony, he said. “The rice price is high. I am not happy, but if I have high rice production, I will be.”