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Cassava farmers find friend in exporter

A woman sifts through a pile of dried cassava in Pursat province last year.
A woman sifts through a pile of dried cassava in Pursat province last year. Hong Menea

Cassava farmers find friend in exporter

Amru Rice, one of Cambodia’s largest rice exporters, signed a memorandum of understanding with a Thai starch company last Friday in a bid to increase export orders of organic cassava next year, the CEO of the company said yesterday.

Under a pilot project, Song Saran, CEO of Amru, said that the company would partner with 700 local farmers harvesting cassava on a 1,500-hectare social land concession in Kampong Thom province. The company will also employ the help of German development agency GIZ to provide technical training to the farmers.

While he declined to provide the name of the Thai company, he said that if the pilot project is successful, it would be expanded into the provinces of Kratie, Tbong Khmum, Kampong Chhnang and Kampong Speu.

“This is our first pilot project and if it is a success we will expand it for large-scale exporting,” he said.

“Cassava farmers always face a lot of challenges, so we want to make sure that they can have sustainable production and profits as well as increased market access that will build up the supply chain.”

Total cassava exports in the first nine months of the year have reached only 2.3 million tonnes, a decrease of 21 percent compared to the same period last year. The Kingdom sent 91 percent of its cassava exports to Thailand and another 8 percent to Vietnam, according to data.

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