Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Covid-19 pandemic shaking up Kampot pepper market

Covid-19 pandemic shaking up Kampot pepper market

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The pandemic sweeping the globe has ground Kampot’s pepper market to a halt as exports stall and about 40 per cent of farmers stop caring for their crops. HENG CHIVOAN

Covid-19 pandemic shaking up Kampot pepper market

The Covid-19 pandemic sweeping the globe has ground Kampot’s pepper market to a halt as exports stall and about 40 per cent of farmers have stopped caring for their crops.

Kampot Pepper Promotion Association (KPPA) president Nguon Lay told The Post on Sunday that the demand for Kampot pepper has dwindled due to the spread of Covid-19.

He said farmers have been forced to store their pepper products in hopes that European and US markets, the largest markets for Kampot pepper, resume their orders once the pandemic has passed.

“This year, we haven’t sold a single grain of pepper yet. We are depending on exports to Europe and the US. Today, they are suffering an outbreak of Covid-19. The businesses there are closed, which means no orders.

“Even the local tourism sector, which accounts for 30 per cent of the pepper market, has completely stalled. However, we are expecting to regain that market and stabilise prices as the crisis dies down,” said Lay.

He said that as orders dry up, about 40 per cent of farmers had given up caring for and harvesting their crops because there are no profits to be made.

He added that the pepper harvest, which runs from January 1 to June 30, has yielded around 100 tonnes so far this year, a slight decrease from the 120 tonnes harvested last year.

Lay said the Kingdom exported 78 tonnes of Kampot pepper last year.

Prices currently stand at $15 per kilogramme of black pepper, $25 per kilogramme of red pepper and $28 per kilogramme of white pepper, he said.

In 2010, the World Trade Organisation granted Kampot pepper geographical indication (GI) status, which increases its market value and prevents other entities from replicating it.

The crop currently covers a cultivation area of 250ha, exclusively in Kampot and Kep provinces.

KPPA’s membership has grown from 387 families and 21 distributors in 2017 to 440 families and 38 distributors this year, said Lay.

MOST VIEWED

  • Tourists urged not to skip trip

    The Ministry of Tourism has called on international tourists not to cancel trips to Cambodia, but urged them to adhere to several dos and don’ts when arriving in the Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry released an eight-point instruction manual on Wednesday published

  • The taxman cometh – Cambodia’s capital gains tax casts the net on individual taxpayers

    In a country where only limited personal income tax existed, the new taxation law beginning January 1, 2021, will make taxpayers out of Cambodians, whether they are ready for it or not About two years ago, a little known amendment was made to Article 7 of the Law

  • Cambodian-American gets Star Trek treatment

    Kevin Ung, a Cambodian-American whose family escaped genocide during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, was recently selected from thousands of applicants to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s inaugural 2020 Star Trek Command Training Programme, a course intended to give hands-on filmmaking experience

  • Cambodia seeks to be transport hub

    Cambodia is working on several fronts to modernise its transport infrastructure and services, concentrating on opening new international gates to relieve and balance traffic congestion at its borders, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Thursday. This is part of the Kingdom’

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped