The price of cassava in provinces bordering Thailand remains steady during the 2019-2020 harvest season which is currently about 60 per cent complete, officials said.
Cambodia’s cassava is mostly grown in Battambang, Pailin, Banteay Meanchey, Kratie and Kampong Thom provinces. The crop is planted in May and harvested between November and the end of February each year.
Battambang provincial Department of Commerce director Kim Hout said on Monday that the average price at which the province’s farmers sold their crops this year was a little higher than last year.
Fresh cassava goes for 250-260 riel (6.1-6.4 US cents) per kilogramme while dry ones sell for 700-720 riel, Hout said.
He said about 80 per cent of Battambang province’s cassava is exported to Thailand, while another 20 per cent is sold to Vietnam by traders.
During this harvest season, the province has 112,543ha cultivated with cassava, with an average yield of 26.43 tonnes per hectare, a report from the Battambang provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said.
Pailin provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries deputy director Im Sophoeun said cassava yields in the province this year were similar to last year, though prices were a bit higher.
Overall, cassava growers have done better in the past two years, he said.
Cheth Sothy, a cassava farmer with 5ha of land in Battambang province’s Sampov Loun district, said farmers had better yields this year than last year, with prices marginally higher.
Last year, he said, a prolonged drought caused considerable damage to the crop. “This year, things are a bit better, with acceptable prices that are not falling as fast as they did last year.”
Chan Muoy owns a silo in the same district and buys cassava from local farmers to resell to Thai traders.
“The price of cassava this year is higher than last year, but according to surveys, output [in the district] may be lower than last year,” said Muoy.
She said farmers turning to grow corn last year may be a factor in the decline.
Fresh cassava, which sold for between 200 and 240 riel last year, now costs her 290 riel, while dry cassava as of Monday costs her 680 riel, from its 2019 price of 590-630 riel, she said.
Last year, Cambodia exported a total of 3.26 million tonnes of cassava products such as cassava chips, fresh cassava and tapioca starch to the Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Dutch, Czech, Italian, Indian and Pakistani markets, said a Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries report.