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Cassava exports rise on ASEAN demand

Cassava exports rise on ASEAN demand

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A woman shovels meal made from cassava at a Kampong Cham province plant in February. Cassava exports have increased early this year.

Demand from Thailand and Vietnam helped to drive up the Kingdom’s cassava exports 88 percent in the first three months of 2011, compared to the same period last year, according to Camcontrol, a division of the Commerce Ministry.

Cassava exports between January and March totalled 204,618, up 87.7 percent from 108,987 tonnes in 2010.

Higher prices also helped to boost export revenues for Cambodia.

Revenues for the period equalled US$9.9 million, or about a 143 percent increase from last year’s $4.1 million.

Khuon Savuth, director of Camcontrol, tied the rise to demand from the Kingdom’s larger neighbors and said the increasing prices are pushing more and more farmers to plant cassava.

“The high price of cassava not only improves the living standard of people but also upholds the national economy.”

Chhorn Saroem, President of Chey Chamroeun Company, which exports agricultural products to Thailand, said the increased farming boosted her cassava shipments in the first three months of the year 50 percent higher than the same period last year.

“This year the farmers throughout Pailin province flock to cultivate more cassava than other crops because of high price,” she said.

She added that a tonne fetched 370,000 riels this year compared to 110,000 riel last year.

Khiev Sophet of Pailin, who typically grows corn, said he emphasised cassava this season because of its higher price. He said, even with the increased farming of the crop, “I believe the price should hold for next year.”

According to data from Camcontrol, Cambodia’s cassava exports in 2010 totalled just 165,229 tonnes worth $12 million.

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