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Alliance to disburse $2 million to help exports

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Workers load bags of paddy rice onto the back of a truck in Battambang province. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

The Alliance of Rice Producers and Exporters of Cambodia (ARPEC) will release US$2 million after December 15 to its members in nine provinces so they can buy paddy rice before the harvest season ends and stocks have been depleted.

Hann Khieng, director of ARPEC which was formed in May this year, said an internal meeting between the alliance’s management teams and members last week agreed to disburse about $2 million to its members.

He said the payout is being drawn from assets and investments from its members who’ve bought more than $100 worth of shares.

“We don’t have interest rates for them, but we’ve set a limit to the price of paddy rice and require them to mill the paddy they buy to pool with the rest of the alliance’s members,” he said.

“We expect to seek markets overseas for this milled rice,” he added.

“We need to get a handle on this rice situation immediately because the paddy rice might spoil,” he said.

Milled rice export data from the Single-Window Secretariat for Facilitating Milled Rice Export showed that at the end of October, Cambodia only exported 148,200 tonnes, over 100,000 tonnes short of the 250,000 tonne goal for this year.

However, the figure is a 765 tonne increase on the same period last year.

Mao Thora, secretary of state for the Ministry of Commerce, said federations and associations for rice export have previously not worked well and did not provide clear information about their activities.

“They [federation] don’t yet work well, I don’t know numbers of their members or who the directors are,” he said.

Hann Khieng said that his alliance plans to buy between 250,000 and 300,000 tonnes of fragrant paddy rice for 2013.

“We haven’t yet secured any big orders. It is still long away. The demand is greater than what we can supply,” he said.

 

 

To contact the reporter on this story: Rann Reuy at reuy.rann@phnompenhpost.com

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