Millers and exporters are urged to be ready to buy more paddy from farmers to increase milled rice processing in order to achieve the Kingdom’s goal of hitting rice exports of one million tonnes.

Kao Thach, director-general of the Agricultural and Rural Development Bank (ADRB), also asked that they examine the possibility of connecting with paddy-producing communities to ensure quality, market price and supply quantity for export.

In a July 30 meeting with Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) members, rice millers and exporters, Thach advised them to jointly overcome challenges, and organise monthly meets and forums to disseminate information on overseas rice developments.

The stakeholders were also requested to put in measures to strengthen production and ensure food security, so as to prevent a food crisis.

In the meeting, Thach talked about how climate change might affect popular rice varieties such as the Sen Kra’op and Sra Nge. “These challenges may affect yields in the upcoming harvest season.”

Speaking to The Post on August 1, CRF secretary-general Lun Yeng said that during harvest seasons, comapanies and millers often need working capital to buy paddy to stock up to cater to domestic demand and for export.

Cambodian milled rice is known for its good quality and delectable taste, inadvertently resulting in prices being comparatively higher than in neighbouring countries.

“If millers have adequate capital and the paddy harvest is large [that season], milled rice exports to international markets would see a significant increase,” he said.

While the climate has got some countries worried about food shortages, Lun Yeng stressed that Cambodia need not be worried about it, as there is sufficient supply for the domestic market as well as export.

“Cambodia has a strong base for rice production to serve domestic demand and export,” he said, adding that the one-million-tonne-rice-export plan is contingent on the amount of rice harvested every season.

In the first half of 2023, Cambodia exported 329,633 tonnes of milled rice to 52 countries and territories, generating a total sum of $229.23 million.

The Kingdom also exported 2.2 million tonnes of paddy to neighbouring countries to the tune of $578.7 million, CRF data showed.