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National cassava body in the works

A year after establishing the Cambodia Rice Federation, the Ministry of Commerce is planning to set up a cassava organisation to boost production of the root vegetable in the Kingdom.

Ministry spokesman Ken Ratha said yesterday that the National Cassava Federation would be completed soon, under the auspices of the ministry’s Department of Private Sector Development.

“The cassava sector comes second to the rice sector, as many Cambodians are working in this field too,” he said.

According to Ratha, the federation will work similarly to the Cambodia Rice Federation and will try to identify and deal with challenges in the cassava sector. The association is to comprise relevant partners such as farmers, traders, exporters, and government agencies.

Pang Vannaseth, director of Battambang’s Agricultural Department, said Battambang province has about 62,000 hectares of cassava plantations.

He added that while cultivation has been increasing yearly, the sector still faces many challenges such as unstable prices, a shortage of warehouses, and a lack of capital among farmers.

“Having a federation with one voice will be good. I hope it will solve some issues we face,” he said. “I wish to have the federation as soon as possible.”

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