The area of cassava under cultivation fell by 11.5 per cent across the country this season, while the price of cassava chips remained the same as last season’s price. Officials blamed an unstable price during the previous season (from April to April) for the drop.
According to estimated production data issued by the Department of Planning and statistics at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, cassava growing covered only 346,594 hectares compared with last season, which saw 391,714 hectares.
The data show that Cambodian cassava production dropped by 45,120 hectares for this season compared with the previous season.
The report added that Cambodian people had grown a great deal of cassava in all provinces, but some provinces – Kampong Cham with 67,427 hectares, Battambang with 57,020 hectares, Banteay Meanchey with 44,473 hectares, Kratie with 33,180 hectares, Svay Rieng with 23,792 hectares and Pailin with 22,320 hectares – increased their production.
The estimated harvest dropped about 1.17 million tonnes – from 8.03 million tonnes to 6.86 million tonnes this season.
Khem Chenda, director of the Administrative Affairs Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said one reason for the declining production was unstable prices in the previous season, causing farmers to switch to other crops such as beans.
“This drop in production yield is not so large-scale if we calculate it for the whole country,” he said, adding that “the cassava price is continuing to change, but in general the price this season is better than during the previous season.”
Sorun Chanthu, a cassava trader in Svay Chek district’s Slakram commune in Banteay Meanchey province, said cassava production in the area appeared less than last season because the province had been affected by the flooding late last year.
He said the price at this time was 625 to 650 riel per kilogramme of dry cassava chips, but the price for selling to Thai traders at the border was between 706 riel and 722 riel.
The price for freshly harvested, wet cassava was about 230 riel per kilogramme.
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