Amru Rice Group, one of Cambodia’s largest rice exporters, on Thursday signed a contract purchase agreement with 4,000 organic rice farmers in Preah Vihear province.
The agreement effectively means that the company will reserve nearly $10 million to purchase around 30,000 tonnes of organic paddy during the coming harvest season.
Also on Thursday, The Cambodian Agriculture Cooperative Cooperation – an Amru Group subsidiary – signed a purchase agreement with farmers in the same province to buy 10,000 tonnes of dried cassava, reserving about $1 million for it.
This is the fifth year in a row that Amru has secured contract farming agreements in Preah Vihear province for organic rice. However, it is the first year it is doing so for dried cassava.
While the rice harvest is from October to December, cassava farmers won’t start reaping their crop until early next year.
Amru Rice’s CEO, Song Saran, said on Thursday that the company guaranteed it would buy the crops from farmers above market value.
“We want to convert Preah Vihear into a province for organic paddy production,” he said, adding that the cassava purchasing agreement is small as it is meant to test the market.
“With greater support from the market, farmers can sell their crops at a higher price which will benefit their living conditions,” Saran said.
Cambodia exported organic rice for the first time in early 2002.