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Cambodian aquaculture eyes international export

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A woman arranges her selling fish at a local market in Kratie Province. Hean Rangsey

Cambodian aquaculture eyes international export

The chief of the Fisheries Administration at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Eng Cheasan told The Post on Sunday that Cambodia is expecting to begin official exports of its aquaculture products to the international market within the next few years.

Cheasan also said Cambodia is currently studying the possibility of increasing aquaculture investment to enhance its official export capacity to the international market.

He said Cambodia had already exported aquaculture products to neighbouring countries and Japan but on an unofficial, trial basis.

“We hope that in the next few years, Cambodian aquaculture products will officially be exported to China, the EU and Japan,” he said.

He also said to do so, Cambodia needs to strive to expand fish farming and hygiene quality in line with export standards.

“With an increasing population, Cambodia needs to work harder to invest in aquaculture to meet growing domestic demand and begin exporting officially to international markets,” he said.

According to Cheasan, for the last few years, Cambodia’s aquaculture production has increased by an average of 20 per cent annually. However, he said the number compared with neighbouring countries is relatively low.

Last weekend, a meeting between Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon and Fumiaki Takahashi, the president of the Japan-Cambodia Association and former Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia, revealed that the Kingdom offered Japanese investors good opportunities, especially in the aquaculture sector.

At the meeting, the Japanese officials said there was a Japanese company currently studying the possibility of investing in aquaculture for processing and export to Japan.

They also said that given the investment opportunities available, they plan to bring a delegation of leading Japanese trading companies to visit Cambodia in December to learn more about investment opportunities, government policies and conditions.

In response, Sakhon mentioned that the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector in Cambodia had made significant progress in recent years through the agricultural development policy plan for 2019-2023.

He said investment in aquaculture would be very beneficial for Cambodia, and he expressed his support to encourage Japanese companies to invest in the sector.

“Fish farming has contributed to helping farmers as a means of employment and to reduce fishing, which has caused hauls to fall due to demand and climate change,” he said.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ annual report in 2019 showed that in aquaculture, fish and shrimp farming accounted for 307,408 tonnes – an increase of 53,360 tonnes compared to 2018.

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