Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cassava production tumbles nearly 1% throughout 2018

Cassava production tumbles nearly 1% throughout 2018

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Kingdom produced more than 13 million tonnes of cassava last year. Hong Menea

Cassava production tumbles nearly 1% throughout 2018

Cambodia produced more that 13 million tonnes of cassava last year, a drop on 2017 despite a six per cent increase in cultivation to 650,510ha nationwide, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The data shows Cambodia produced 13,750,076 tonnes of cassava last year, a slight decrease from 13,817,262 tonnes in 2017. Cultivation increased six per cent from 612,861ha to 650,510ha.

A ministry official said he expects production to see an increase this year following the construction of a Kratie-based cassava processing factory, scheduled to be completed in May.

Ker Monthivuth, Department of Plant Protection Sanitary and Phytosanitary director under the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said the decrease in yield was due to climate change and pesticide damage.

However, he said with the influx of new investors, the entire industry would see a change with higher production.

“Climate change and disease have impacted production. However, new investors are coming into our industry; it will help provide new climate-resilient, high-producing seeds which are resistant to pesticides."

“Having a local processing plant, our cassava prices will be more stable and no longer fluctuate as they have done relying on neighbour [countries’] markets,” Monthivuth said.

Hong Kong-based Green Leader Holding Group Limited and the United Nations Development Progamme (UNDP) signed a cost-sharing agreement in August to implement an $800,000 project to accelerate the cassava market.

The project will take nearly three-and-a-half years, with Green Leader investing $500,000 and UNDP $300,000. It will provide contract farming, new technology and financial support.

Green Holding CEO Michael Tse said the Kingdom’s cassava sector has potential for growth under its cooperation with UNDP.

Green Leader is currently overseeing the construction of a $20 million cassava processing factory on 20ha in Kratie province’s Snuol district which will be completed in May.

The plant will have the capacity to produce 100,000 tonnes of tapioca per year – a haul that would require 400,000 tonnes of raw cassava from local farmers.

“We are setting up 27 farmer cooperatives around the factory. We help farmers not just by buying cassava, but also by teaching them how to plant and increase their yields,” he said.

Phorn Borak, a farmer in Pailin province with 30ha of land, said the market is currently acceptable. He said he can sell fresh cassava at 250 riel (6.2 US cents) per kg and dried cassava at around 700 riel per kg.

“The market is currently good, we can profit a little bit,” he said. “But we still sell to Thailand if we feel unsafe as the market can change anytime."

“However if a local source here would buy [cassava] from us and process it, it would secure our prices and we as farmers would not be as concerned about the market anymore,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’