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First shipment of Kingdom bananas to China underway

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Farmers plant banana trees at a plantation in Ratanakiri province. Cambodia will begin exporting its bananas to China next year. Photo supplied

First shipment of Kingdom bananas to China underway

Longmate Agriculture Co Ltd, a joint venture between local, Chinese and Hong Kong investors, is set to send some 30,000 tonnes of its maiden banana export to China in January.

Its chairman, Phe Hokchhoun, said: “The first [shipment] of 30,000 tonnes will be exported in January and we will double the amount in the coming years.”

Cambodia inked an agreement in August with China to begin exporting the fruit to the Asian economic powerhouse.

Vietnamese conglomerate Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group (HAGL) recently announced a $42 million investment to expand its banana plantations in Ratanakiri province with the aim to export the produce to the Chinese market.

Hence, the investment will add more than 5,000ha to its portfolio.

HAGL, which operates in the property, mining, hydropower and commercial agriculture sectors, owns 1,000ha of banana plantations in northeast Cambodia through three subsidiaries.

They are Hoang Anh Andong Meas Co Ltd, Hoang Anh Lumphat Co Ltd and Hoang Anh Daun Penh Agrico Co Ltd.

Longmate Agriculture Co Ltd has invested more than $32 million in a banana plantation in Kampot province’s Chhouk district to tap into the potential of the crop.

Earlier in August, Cambodia and China signed a protocol of phytosanitary requirements that will make way for the exports of yellow bananas from the Kingdom to China.

The protocol was inked between the Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon and the Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Xiong Bo in the presence of Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong.

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