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Farmers say fees levied at border scare away buyers

Farmers say fees levied at border scare away buyers

Cambodian farmers on the Vietnamese border have accused local authorities of overcharging and scaring off paddy buyers, leading to a drop in paddy price.

Milled-rice exporters, however, say the decline extends internationally and cannot be blamed on one sector or so narrowly.

Sorn Saran, a farmer from the Kompongro district who harvested about 100 tonnes of rice paddy last year, told the Post yesterday that paddy prices had suffered a steady decline over the past month.

“I heard from Vietnamese buyers that they buy from us here at lower prices because the authorities at the border charge them too much,” he said.

He said that he has sold 40 tonnes of low-grade paddy rice to Vietnamese buyers at 1.1 million riel per tonne, but recent problems had forced him to lower prices to 760,000 riels per tonne.

“The sharply lowered prices are making us not want to do the rice farming," he added.

Ros Sotha, another paddy farmer, says that his whole family relies on rice farming and if the price of paddy suddenly drops, it would impose severe consequences on them.

Floods during the early stages of his harvest had already limited his supply, so any decrease in price would hit doubly hard.

Meanwhile, border authorities have denied any responsibility.

Taing Leng, chief of the Prevy Vor border-station in Kampong Ror district, said that the government does not allow officials at the border to receive any fees from transported rice paddy or other agricultural products.

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