Farmers from across the Kingdom descend on Phnom Penh in rare chance to showcase provincial produce at today’s Royal ploughing festival
Stall owners preprare their goods Monday ahead of today’s Royal Ploughing Ceremony in Phnom Penh.
THIS year's Royal Ploughing Ceremony, which marks the traditional beginning of the rice-growing season, will provide an opportunity for farmers from all 24 provinces and municipalities to show off a range of goods in a display organisers said will underscore progress made in the agriculture sector.
The ceremony, a three-day event that starts today, will be attended by King Norodom Sihamoni and top government officials.
A total of 41 booths will be set up at the site near the Royal Palace, said Chea Kean, deputy director of the organising committee.
Chea Kean said he believed participating farmers were eager to show King Norodom Sihamoni and other officials how they were working to improve the sector.
"This is an opportunity for farmers and producers to demonstrate progress made in the last year," he said.
Yang Saing Koma, president of the Cambodian Centre for Study and Development in Agriculture, said Cambodian farmers have few opportunities to publicise their products, particularly to prospective consumers in Phnom Penh.
Kep Vutha, who handles exhibitions for the Ministry of Commerce, said large-scale farmers were able to get around this obstacle by spending money on advertising, but that small-scale farmers relied on the ceremony to drum up interest in their products.
Though officials said considerable progress had been made in the past year, Yang Saing Koma said the products on display would also demonstrate the extent to which farmers need to improve in certain areas - notably presentation and the production of a diverse range of goods for international markets.
"We are not good at producing and diversifying from raw materials into many different products, especially compared to Thailand and Vietnam," he said.