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Salt producers approach 2010 goal

DOMESTIC salt producers were close to fulfilling production expectations for the six-month season, easing concerns of a shortage, Ly Seng, president of the Cambodian Salt Producers Association, said Wednesday.

The association has produced a combined 80,000 tonnes of salt in the past five months, nearing the total 90,000 tonnes they had expected for the November-to-April season, Ly Seng said.

“We think Cambodia may not face a salt shortage anymore this year because we still have another month to produce salt,” Ly Seng said.

Cambodia has an estimated 5,000 salt producers, who work from 4,400 hectares of salt farms in Kampot province. The country will need between 100,000 tonnes to 120,000 tonnes this year, Ly Seng said.

Cambodia suffered a salt shortage in 2009, when production yielded only 30,000 tonnes, due to poor weather, an amount which fell far short of demand. The shortage was made up with salt from China.

This year, the association reported flooding had resulted in the loss of 10,000 to 15,000 tonnes of salt, worth about US$70,000.

Nevertheless, producers are on track, and the importation of salt may not be necessary this year, Ly Seng said. If rain does not fall between now and the end of the season, the association can make up to 20,000 more tonnes of salt, he said.

“We do not think Cambodia will be short of salt like last year, because we have already produced a lot of salt,” Som Vichet, director of Kampot’s Department of Industry, Mines and Energy, said Wednesday.

In a good year, the Kingdom can produce 150,000 tonnes of salt, he added.

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