Corn harvest season has begun in the Kingdom, but farmers in the northwest are facing a price decline, and hinting they may seek markets in neighbouring Thailand for their crops.
Prior to the harvest, provincial authorities reported corn prices at around 630 riel per kilogram ($0.16). However, late last week prices fell to 460 riel.
It is yet to be seen what restrictions Thai authorities will put on Cambodian farmers wanting to sell there.
As of Sunday, the price went up slightly by 30 riel after measures taken by industry leaders in Battambang.
Battambang province’s chamber of commerce president and chairman of Baitang Kampuchea Plc Phou Puy told The Post on Sunday that his company will set up a corn community and build silos and warehouses to help stabilise the price.
“We know that at harvest time farmers often face market problems, so we plan to set up a community and a market for them,” he said.
Puy said that his company and provincial authorities would aim to keep the price above 400 riel per kilogram.
“When buyers cannot afford it, they can also borrow money from us to buy from farmers,” he said.
Battambang province is the largest corn-growing region in the country, with total yields of about 450,000 tonnes per season, Puy said.
Figures from the provincial agriculture department showed that there were about 76,000 hectares of corn-growing land in the province, providing an average yield of six tonnes per hectare.
Kim Huort, from Battambang’s provincial commerce department, said that about 70 percent of Cambodian corn is exported to Thailand, with the rest bought by a local animal feed company.
With no official data on corn exports to Thailand, Huort estimated that about 5,000 tonnes went there from the Kingdom every day.