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Intl buyers to talk rice with local producers

Intl buyers to talk rice with local producers

Rice buyers from Poland, Russia, Belgium and Pakistan plan to meet with Cambodian rice exporters in Phnom Penh on January 14 to discuss the possibility of exporting Cambodian rice to international markets.

Uth Rein, secretary general of the Cambodian Small and Medium Industries Association said the meeting was an introductory one to discuss the feasibility of Cambodian rice exports.

“We hope that the parties will reach an agreement in bringing Cambodian rice to European and global markets,” he said.

The discussion will be attended by around 30 representatives of local rice millers and exporters. Ny Lyheng, deputy general manager of Baitang Kampuchea Plc, one of the country’s biggest rice exporters, said it was a key opportunity for local producers to better understand the requirements of international buyers.

Cambodia has around 3 million tonnes of rice left over from its annual harvest for export, according to government figures. However, export channels have not been well-developed and the quality of milled rice is often deficient by international standards.

Uth Rein said Cambodian exporters were granted duty free access to European markets last August for between 5,000 tonnes and 7,000 tonnes of milled rice per month. Opening up the export channel required exporters to boost rice quality and streamline export processes, he said.

Two of the four companies set to attend the meeting – Schepens & Co from Poland and Belgium’s Agrotrade Melkumian & Gasior – have already successfully sourced rice from Cambodia.

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