The Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) has asked the Ministry of Economy and Finance to disburse an additional $30 million through the state-owned Agricultural and Rural Development Bank (ARDB), its president Song Saran told The Post on Monday.
This comes as it prepares to purchase about one million tonnes of paddy during the upcoming harvest season.
In a meeting with Minister Aun Pornmoniroth last week, the CRF asked to increase the budget dedicated to helping the sector by $30 million from the current $50 million, which would bring its available funds to $200 million, said Saran.
He said the additional budget package from government would be ready for the harvest season, and that it would improve the efficiency of stockpiles and prevent rice prices from falling.
“By our estimates, paddy output in the coming season will be between 800,000 and one million tonnes, so we need the additional $30 million through the ARDB to provide rice millers the chance to purchase farmers’ entire stocks.”
ARDB director-general Kao Thach said he had not yet received an official request from the CRF.
In August 2010, the government pledged to export one million tonnes of rice by 2015. However, the Kingdom exported 387,000 tonnes of rice in 2014, 538,396 tonnes in 2015, 542,144 tonnes in 2016, 635,679 tonnes in 2017, 626,225 tonnes in 2018 and 620,106 tonnes last year.
Cambodia exported 300,252 tonnes of rice to the international market in the first four months of this year – equivalent to $210 million – the highest export volume in the past decade, the CRF said in a report.
The export volume is 40.46 per cent over the 213,763 tonnes reported in the same period last year, it said.
China accounted for 41 per cent of exports or 122,094 tonnes, the EU and the UK 32 per cent or 97,337 tonnes, ASEAN countries 13 per cent or 37,428 tonnes and other countries 14 per cent or 43,339 tonnes.