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Fake potash reduces rice profits and farm output

A senior agricultural official is concerned by the prevalence of fake fertilisers that cause stunted rice crops and reduce farmers’ profits.

Ngin Chhay, director of the Rice Crops Department in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fishery and Forestry, told the Development Research Forum in Phnom Penh yesterday the products were not up to standard and not only made paddy rice grow slowly, but also killed the rice plants.

“The problem we encounter is that some companies or distributors sell fertilisers that are sub-standard,” he said.

“In the past, we used to issue warning letters.”

Chhay did not know the amount of sub-standard fertiliser imported to Cambodia and supplied to farmers because the statistics for imported fertilisers fall under another department.

Lim Bunheng, the president of Loran Group, a company that processes milled rice for export to world markets and imports 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes of NPK fertilisers a year from Thailand, said fake chemical fertilisers differed from the real products by having reduced amounts of the active ingredients and were cheaper to buy.

Yang Saing Koma, president of the Cambodian Centre for Study and Development in Agriculture (CEDAC), said fake fertilisers seriously affected farmers by decreasing output and degrading soil quality.

He said a good solution was to promote the use of organic fertilisers among farmers and to buy chemicals only from trusted sources.

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

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