Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Agriculture exports near 6M tonnes in Jan-Sept

Agriculture exports near 6M tonnes in Jan-Sept

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Agriculture minister Veng Sakhon reported year-on-year increases in agricultural exports to Vietnam, Thailand and China in January-September. VENG SAKHON VIA FACEBOOK

Agriculture exports near 6M tonnes in Jan-Sept

Cambodia exported 5.93 million tonnes of agricultural products to 90 countries and territories in the first nine months of this year, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries reported on October 14.

Vietnam topped the list of buyers accounting for 64.11 per cent of the exports (3.8 million tonnes), followed by Thailand at 21.49 per cent (1.3 million tonnes) and China at 9.69 per cent (around 575,000 tonnes). The remaining 4.71 per cent (just under 280,000 tonnes) were sold to the remaining 87 markets.

For reference, an earlier ministry report indicated that Cambodia exported more than 13 million tonnes of agricultural products last year, valued at $3.433 billion.

Without providing figures, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon told The Post on October 14 that sales of agricultural merchandise to the top three buyers “have increased”, on the back of rising production in Cambodia and improved transportation systems to neighbouring countries.

Exports to China were further fuelled by the East Asian country’s strong trade ties with the Cambodia, he noted.

He explained, however, that even though Cambodia and China had signed a free trade agreement (FTA), further technical negotiations would be required to lift additional phytosanitary barriers.

On the other hand, Sakhon said the ministry is working to encourage the domestic agro-industry to add more value to exports and curtail outward migration of Cambodians, in what he termed a “life-or-death matter” for the agricultural sector.

He pointed out that investors’ actions would have a considerable bearing on the sector’s economic performance, a consideration that in part prompted the government to draw up a new investment law to woo more potential investors.

At the same time, the government has been trying to increase capital investment in supporting infrastructure – such as water, electricity, roads and ports – to serve the harvesting, storage, processing and transport of goods, and ensure that the supply chain remains competitive with neighbouring and regional countries, he noted.

Royal Academy of Cambodia economics researcher Ky Sereyvath underlined that their proximity to Cambodia makes trade and goods exchange with Vietnam, Thailand and China easier and less time consuming compared to more distant destinations, putting them at the top of the list of importers of Cambodian agricultural products.

Neighbouring Thailand and Vietnam in particular are key trading partners for Cambodia that offer convenient export destinations, much like the bordering US states are to Canada, he suggested.

He pointed out that Thailand and Vietnam have larger export volumes and more advanced agro-industries than Cambodia, and that purchases of Cambodian agricultural raw materials predominantly feed these sectors.

But even with processing plants, Cambodian cannot ship agricultural produce to China without reaching a phytosanitary agreement for the specific item, he said.

Sereyvath echoed the minister’s comment that the FTA with China would not grant access to a wide spectrum of agricultural products without first negotiating a phytosanitary protocol that conforms to Chinese standards.

And as the ministry’s director-general for Agriculture Ngin Chhay previously noted, Chinese authorities only consider a single product per country at a time to import.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia to waive quarantine requirements Nov 15, no PCR test required

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has decided to lift all quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers and visitors – both Cambodians and foreign nationals – effective from November 15 onward. In a special message addressed to officials and relevant authorities on November 14, Hun Sen said this policy will enable

  • PM: No more quarantine for vaccinated travellers

    Cambodia is lifting all quarantine requirements for vaccinated inbound travellers entering Cambodia by air, waterway or land border checkpoints effective from November 15. Travellers will be required to take a rapid antigen test on arrival rather than waiting for the results of the lengthier polymerase chain

  • No payment required for travellers taking rapid Covid tests on arrival

    Ministry of Health officials said there would be no payment required for the rapid Covid-19 tests given to travellers who arrive in Cambodia from November 15 onwards after the quarantine requirement is lifted for fully vaccinated people. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told The Post on

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration