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Direct sales of yellow banana to China see exports grow

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Workers at a Longmate Agriculture-owned banana farm in Kampot province’s Chhouk district. Heng Chivoan

Direct sales of yellow banana to China see exports grow

Yellow banana exports to China have grown since April when the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announced that the fruit can be exported directly without relying on Vietnam as an intermediary, Longmate Agriculture Co Ltd director Hun Lak said on Wednesday.

He told The Post that besides expanding its exports to China, his company is seeking to export to Japan, South Korea and the Middle East.

“In Cambodia, the climate is favourable [for yellow bananas]. It is hot and humid, and the soil is fertile and well suited to the cultivation of bananas.

“We can harvest bananas in all seasons, whereas some countries cannot produce them in the winter. In particular, our bananas are of a higher quality than our neighbours’,” Lak said.

He said Cambodia exports an average of 60 containers of bananas a month to China at a median price of between $550 and $600 per tonne.

“We have officially received approved exporter status because Chinese customs authorities and companies recognise our banana standards,” he said.

So far this year, the Kingdom had exported 127,459 tonnes of yellow bananas to China since official direct exports to the Chinese market were authorised, a report from the ministry’s General Department of Agriculture said on Friday.

The other four authorised exporters are Long Sreng Hua Jian Agriculture Development Co Ltd, Green Island Agricultural Development (Cambodia) Co Ltd, Sovann Reachsey Co Ltd and Grand Land Agricultural Development (Cambodia) Co Ltd.

Longmate Agriculture has invested $32 million in over 1,600ha to grow yellow bananas in Kampot province’s Chhouk district. The company is now investing in the first phase of the project by planting the fruit on over 400ha.

Yellow bananas are resistant to transport, do not easily overripe and have a thick wall. They can yield 60 to 73 tonnes per hectare annually, and can be harvested three times in two years.

According to data from the General Department of Agriculture, from the third quarter of last year, three major yellow banana farms existed in Cambodia. They are located in Ratanakkiri, Kratie and Kampot provinces and have a total area of 4,996ha – all for export.

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