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Agricultural land on the rise in the northeast

Agricultural land on the rise in the northeast

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Bou Sra waterfall in Mondulkiri province. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

Even though land in the northeast of the country is not often viewed as having much commercial potential, the price of land for agricultural development is steadily rising, after the government granted a moratorium on economic land concessions.

Most of the land in the northeast of the country is agricultural land, said Po Eav Kong, the managing director of Asia Real Estate Co. Now the land in that area is in high agricultural demand, so the land prices are growing, he added.

The land price and demand for it are seeing positive signs, with fallow land available from $3,000 to $6,000 per hectare and that for rubber, pepper, cashew and coffee plantations even higher, he said.

“The demand for agricultural land is growing after the government granted a moratorium on economic concession land, leading to greater demand, and agricultural land prices are growing by 30 to 40 per cent. Seeing Cambodia is an agrarian nation it is the right thing, but we are still short of a raft of infrastructure, causing us not be able to develop the agriculture as fast as neighbouring Thailand and Vietnam”, he said.

When rubber trees are three to five years old, they can sell at between $8,000 to $15,000 per hectare depending on their geography and land quality, and pepper plantations are available for not less than $20,000 per hectare, because pepper crops are capital investments for long-term care, according to Po Eav Kong.

Currently, economic land concessions in the northeast are available for $1,000 to $1,500 per hectare and land for private agriculture was previously available from $1,500 to $2,000, but now reach $3,000 per hectare, he said.

Agricultural land is a hot issue for investors, and according to economists the agricultural development sector is lucrative compared to other sectors, Cheng Keng, Director of CPL Real Estate Co, and president of Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association said.

“The demands and the price of agricultural land have been increasing, depending on national economic currents,” he added.

“I did not see it this way, suggesting the land price of the agrarian development sectors and the land demand in the northeast have not changed much,” Dith Channa, general manager of VMC Real Estate Cambodia said. Agricultural land in Kratie and Streung Treng provinces have more demand but with lower prices than Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri provinces, he said.

Now they are available from $5,000 to $7,000 per hectare, while land in Ratanakkiri and Mondulkiri is between $5,000 and $10,000 per hectare, he said.

“There are sales and purchases for agricultural land there, but not much, even though the demand for rubber, pepper and coffee crops are rising”, he said.

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