RICE millers in Battambang province have teamed up with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to open a new Battambang Aromatic Rice store in Phnom Penh, the Japanese development agency said Sunday.
The store, which is set to open Tuesday, will sell only rice certified by the Battambang Rice Promotion Committee (BRPC), according to Chhoeurn Kolyan, project secretary of Battambang Rural Area Nurture and Development. The new shop has already received orders for 800 tonnes from dealers in the capital, he said.
The aim of the project is to offer in Phnom Penh certified Battambang rice, a well-known product in the Kingdom, said Chhoeurn Kolyan, adding that many rice sellers sold their produce in Cambodia with a Battambang label, even if it was harvested elsewhere, in a bid to trade on the name.
“We want to promote the brand name Battambang [rice],” he said, adding that there were plans to ship the rice overseas.
“In 2010, we will focus only the local market. For the future, when more millers participate, we would like to export.”
Currently, only three of nine BRPC members are capable of producing Battambang aromatic rice that meets certification standards, said Chhoeurn Kolyan, although the remaining six are installing the necessary equipment to do so and are expected to be up and running this month.
To meet the necessary requirements, broken rice must not exceed 15 percent and the seeds must be genuine aromatic varieties, said Sieng Suthang, Battambang’s deputy governor and president of BRPC.
The provincial organisation was established in August 2008 and involves input from local government departments, the Battambang Chamber of Commerce and the Rice Millers Association.