NGO says $66,000 contract with US firm Lotus Food will see 60 tonnes of rice sold to Cambodia's largest export market.
Photo by: SOVANN PHILONG
Organic CEDAC products - including rice - are displayed in a Phnom Penh store.
THE Cambodian Centre for Study and Development in Agriculture (CEDAC) has announced the export of its first batch of organic brown rice.
Lang Senghorng, the head of enterprise at the development NGO, said US firm Lotus Food had contracted to buy 60 tonnes of organic brown rice at US$1,100 per tonne.
"We hope this export deal will help increase knowledge of Cambodian rice, because that will help to improve our rice market," Lang Senghorng said.
The NGO, which was set up in 1997 to develop sustainable agriculture and rural development, signed a previous deal in 2007 to supply 450 tonnes of white organic Jasmine rice to German firm Richers for delivery between 2010-12. Richers will pay US$1,400 per tonne for that order.
Lang Senghorng said CEDAC's organic rice farming community has 8,000 members who grow rice on 2,500 hectares. Earlier this year it exported 15 tonnes of organic rice to Malaysia.
The rice is certified as organic by BCS Oeko-Garantie, a German certification company.
We hope this export deal will help increase knowledge of Cambodian rice.
The Kingdom produces 7 million tonnes of rice annually and is looking to formalise the trade in rice as well as increase local milling capacity to add value.
The government announced last week a deal to sell 1,500 tonnes of non-organic rice to Brunei later this year, with a view to boosting those sales in future years.
Tes Eda, the director of state-owned rice exporter Green Trade Enterprise, said his company has exported just 1,000 tonnes of non-organic rice in the six months of this year. Most of that went to France. He said rice is exported by a number of companies and blamed a lack of supply on the limited export volumes.