Cambodia is primarily an agricultural country. Some farmers grow soybeans, but Cambodia's main crop is rice. Cambodians harvest rice twice a year, in the monsoon season and in the dry season, because of the warm climate. Some farmers have a third crop of rice that grows wild early in the wet season. While tractors are used for farming in some parts of Cambodia, many farmers keep water buffalo. They are used to pull ploughs for cultivating the land.

Rubber plantations were once plentiful in eastern Cambodia, but most were destroyed during the fighting in the 1970s and 1980s. Since that time rubber plantations have been revived with new plantings. Some Cambodians work on industrial rubber farms, tapping trees and collecting the latex that drips from them. Other Cambodians work in rubber-processing plants. Rubber is exported after processing.

Many Cambodians used to make their living logging. On the Mekong River, people lived in huts above a raft of logs. They floated along the river and sold the logs under the hut. Logging was abandoned during the war years. Cambodia's trees had many years to mature. In the early 1990s, the forests were heavily logged and the timber exported, especially along the border with Thailand. This caused deforestation, and timber exports were banned in 1995.
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There is a mountain at Kompon Thom called Gold Mountain. People pan for gold there. Nearby is Zinc Mountain.

Some Cambodians travel to Kampot province to collect salt. Others look for precious stones such as sapphires and rubies near Pailin on the border of Thailand. Oil has been discovered at Pulovei Island.

Along the Tonle Sap, families who fish for their livelihood live in floating houses along the banks of the water. Fish are captured and stored under the house in an enclosure. Then they are fattened by the family and eventually sold. This method of fish farming supports nearly 40,000 families. Other people fish using nets and poles.

There are many rice mills and 80 state-owned factories that produce tires, textiles, clothing, pharmaceuticals and bricks. Some people work at cottage industries from their homes. They weave cloth or make clothing to sell in local markets.

In urban areas, especially Phnom Penh, people work for the government, run shops and work in the local hotels or other services. Often they will have two or three jobs.