CAMBODIA is expected to produce 3.2 million tonnes of surplus paddy in 2010, according to a government report released Monday, which would represent an additional 100,000 tonnes on last year.
Following a meeting last week among government officials to assess production for next year, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries concluded that the Kingdom would harvest just less than 7.3 million tonnes of paddy – compared to 7.1 million tonnes last year – despite damage by bad weather.
“This year farmers have not only produced more paddy than last year, they have also sold paddy for a higher price,” Yang Saing Koma, president of the Cambodian Centre for Study and Development in Agriculture, said Monday.
Speaking at an event Monday in Phnom Penh to launch the report, Minister of Agriculture Chan Sarun called on farmers to store paddy appropriately and be ready to sell internationally. “We want farmers to sell their remaining paddy at a decent price to help improve the economy of their families,” he told attendees.
A lack of global supply led South Korea to declare last month that it would stockpile rice, and the Philippines, the world’s largest importer of paddy, has said in recent weeks that exporting countries have increased rice prices.
In Cambodia, paddy prices are up 4 percent this year, according to Trade Promotion Department figures Monday.
Tauch Tepich, president of Svay Rieng Rice Millers Association, warned Monday that Cambodia could face shortages if paddy trading continued at levels seen in recent weeks.