Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Exports consistent for Cambodia’s ag sector

Exports consistent for Cambodia’s ag sector

Exports consistent for Cambodia’s ag sector

Cambodia exported 2.9 million tons of agricultural products last year, roughly the same as 2012, but experts say the figure does not reflect the huge potential for the market.

According to official data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, exports included more than 1 million tons of dried cassava, more than 670,000 tons of fresh cassava, 370,000 tons of milled rice, 200,000 tons of sugar, 160,000 tons of red corn and 80,000 tons of cashew nuts.

Agriculture accounted for 27.5 per cent of GDP in 2012, according to the latest ministry data.

Ouk Rabun, the newly appointed minister of agriculture, said at an annual meeting in Phnom Penh last week that farmers had moved from growing for consumption towards commercialisation, according to a recording of the meeting posted later on the ministry’s website.

“We have seen that the farmer base is shifting for the better, from producing for its own use or household supply or local consumption to commerce, due to the rise in domestic and global demand,” Rabun said.

However, access to the market and a lack of information about it are holding the sector back, according to independent agricultural analyst Srey Chanthy.

“I think the volume of exports is still small compared to the great potential. And we mostly export raw materials, so we lose a lot of added value for the economy,” he said.

“If you look at the population working in the sector, it’s big, about 2.1 million households, but we can export only around 3 million tons, which is really small.”

He said that farmers always face problems during harvest season, as export access is limited to Vietnam and Thailand, where supplies fetch low prices.

“We have a lot of markets that are really open in the United States and the EU, but the problem is that we lack the processing capability,” he said, referring to the practice of sending raw
materials across borders before export.

MOST VIEWED

  • Some jobs off limits to foreigners from August

    Beginning from the second week of August, foreigners will be banned from driving taxis and tuk-tuks, as well as being motorcycle delivery drivers, street food vendors, hairdressers and product distributors among other lower-income jobs. Some white-collar jobs such as the head of human resources will

  • Chinese-owned shops are on the rise in central Phnom Penh

    Informal businesses owned by Chinese nationals are on the rise in central Phnom Penh, especially in Tonle Bassac commune, surrounding Koh Pich. Such businesses have sprung up notably in Central Market, Orussey Market, Sovanna Shopping Mall, Rattana Plaza, as well as Kakab commune across from

  • Sihanoukville authorities find 83 rubbish-packed containers

    Eighty-three containers packed with rubbish were broken open at the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port by joint authorities on Tuesday. The origin of the containers has yet to be ascertained, Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra said. Pheaktra, who is also the ministry’s secretary of state,

  • ‘Cambodia Democracy Act’ passed by US House

    The US House of Representatives in Washington, DC, on Monday, passed the “HR 526 Cambodia Democracy Act”, also known as the Cambodia Democracy Act of 2019. If signed off by th US president, the bill would allow two major sets of action to be taken against high-ranking