AN association of 10 rice exporters formed last week said it will export 20,000 tonnes of jasmine rice to South Africa and France over the coming harvest season.
The president of the Cambodian Golden Rice for Export Association (CGREA), Lim Bunheng, said the group would buy around 50,000 tonnes of jasmine rice paddy, which would be processed locally before export.
It had set aside US$5 million to buy the first batch, and would purchase more rice as revenues from sales began pouring in, he said.
“We hope that our activities can help expand the market for Cambodian farmers, provide stable prices and help create employment opportunities for people in the countryside,” Lim Bunheng said.
CGREA was eyeing purchases from farmers in Battambang, Pursat, Banteay Meanchey, Kampong Cham and Takeo provinces, he said. The group would offer the market price of around $0.30 per kilogram, but hoped to sell the processed rice for as much as $0.81 per kilogram.
Yang Saing Koma, director of the Cambodian Centre for Agricultural Studies and Development, or CEDAC, anticipated a low harvest and warned that exports had to be balanced against the need to ensure domestic supplies.
“I think that the amount of wet-season paddy harvested this year may be less than that of last year because Cambodia has been badly affected by changing weather and droughts,” he said.
Cambodia produced 7.17 million tonnes of paddy last year, CEDAC figures show.