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State loan for local cassava processor

State loan for local cassava processor

State-owned Rural Development Bank (RDB) has loaned a domestic cassava processor and exporter US$1 million in a bid to tame instability in the market for the crop, the bank said.

Loan recipient Power Unity Cambodia Investment Ltd will use the loan to buy cassava from Cambodian farmers and then export to China.

Cassava farmers, especially those in the Kingdom’s northeast, have expressed concern on unstable crop orders primarily from Thailand.

Prices for the plant soared in early to mid 2011, and farmers scraped other crops such as corn for the more lucrative cassava. Thai border regulations and oversupply in Thailand, however, have left many cassava fields in Cambodia unharvested, the Post reported.

Power Unity could not be reached yesterday but the Post reported in January that the company planned to export 300,000 tonnes of cassava to China this year.

While the majority of cassava exports go to Thailand, the government is now looking to China as a larger and more stable buyer of one of the Kingdom’s primary agricultural exports.

“The government has been encouraging investors to establish cassava-processing factories and export cassavas to the Chinese market in order to avoid depending on the markets of neighbouring countries,” RDB Director General Son Koun Thor said.

Between 70 to 80 per cent of Pailin provinces cassava has not been harvested because there is no market for it, Chea Kea, president of a cassava-drying plant in Pailin province, said.

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