DOZENS of villagers from Phnom Proek district in Battambang province gathered at the district hall Wednesday to complain about falling corn prices.
District Governor Suon Koeun said farmers wanted help to lift the price of corn, much of which goes to Thailand.
"We have agreed to reduce tax by 20 percent," he said, adding that price is dependent on the market in Thailand. "We tried to negotiate there, but the price in Thailand is also down."
Heng Chamnab, a villager from Ou Thom village, who attended the meeting, said prices went down at the same time as Thai tax doubled to 5,000 riels (US$1.19) a truckload.
Another attendee, villager Chan Tha from Samaki village in Pich Chenda commune said prices had fallen, which he blamed on lower demand.
"Yesterday we could sell at 2.7 or 2.8 baht (US$ 0.08) per kilogram, but now I am getting just 2.2 or 2.3 baht," he said. "Last year businessmen came from the east [Vietnam] and bought our corn, but this year no one has come," he said.
Mao Thora, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce, said that the ministry is trying to find other markets for the country's agricultural products.
"Some countries require ... standards, but Thailand doesn't, which is why people like to export there," he said.
Farmers are to blame for failing to research the market, Mao Thora said: "They don't care about where they can sell their products."
Son Kuon Thor, chairman of Rural Development Bank, said he has sent an expert to try to find partners to resolve the problem.