Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kampot pepper yield down

Kampot pepper yield down

Kampot pepper yield down

7 kampor pepper corns Heng Chivoan

This year’s weather has proven too hot for the Kingdom’s famous Kampot pepper, as yields of the spice dropped for the first time since 2008.

Some 22 tonnes of pepper were harvested this year between January and May, short of the 27 tonnes predicted for this season, and a tonne lower than last year’s yield, said Nguon Lay, director of the Kampot Pepper Promotion Association (KPPA).

This is the first drop in output, he said, since pepper growers in the region formed the KPPA in October 2008, which today has a combined pepper farmland of 41 hectares and 102,500 trees.

The decreased yield is a result of the recent hot and dry spell, which damaged some of the yield, he said. “If there are drops in crops, we are worried about the reputation of the pepper as well.”

Similarly, Him Anna, director of Bright Starling Holdings Co, which maintains a pepper plantation, said: “The problem stemmed from [the lack of] water. It was dry around there in March, when the pepper bears crops.”

Her 2.5-hectare plantation in Kampot was expected to produce up to six tonnes this year, but eventually produced less than four tonnes, she said.

However, the quality of pepper had remained unaffected, she insisted, adding that to ensure the same situation does not repeat next year, she would drill wells to pump water from underground.

Despite the lower output, said Lay, KPPA was still able to meet the demand from buyers, because the contracts signed involved an output lower than what has been produced.  Black pepper corns make up about 60 to 70 per cent of KPPA’s output each year, with the rest coming from red and white pepper.

Kampot pepper, which is grown in certain districts in Kampot and Kep, received its protected geographical indication (GI) status from the Cambodian government in April 2010, the first local produce to attain this recognition.

GI is an internationally accepted standard that protects the intellectual property rights of a product from a specific geographical region, such as Champagne from France.

In January, Lay told the Post that that prices for pepper had risen, partly in response to the strong market demand. Black pepper cost $11 per kilogram this year, compared to $8 last year, while white pepper cost $18, up from $15.

Lay also reportedly said that by 2015, KPPA’s output would reach 50 tonnes, through pepper trees that have been newly planted.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Bosba: The first Khmer woman composer from UK’s Cambridge

    Bosba Panh is just 25 years old, but she’s already accomplished some impressive milestones for herself and the Kingdom. On July 24, she graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge as the first Khmer woman composer and Khmer music graduate ever at

  • ‘Golden’ Angkor Wat likely due to natural phenomenon: ANA

    Pictures and video clips of the Angkor Wat temple, its spires seemingly coated in gold, have been shared tens of thousands of times on social media, prompting a sense of wonder among those who have seen them. Hong Sam Ath, who took the pictures and

  • Pailin longan winery tries to break through to the big time

    Longan aren’t quite as glamorous as some fruits. They don’t have the star-power of mangos or generate the excitement of a pricey seasonal niche fruit like the pungent durian. Unlike bananas or oranges, which are known and loved everywhere, longan remains a decidedly

  • Debt restructuring over, time to tackle rising NPL ratio

    The Cambodian banking system has just completed a 26-month debt restructuring exercise where scores of loan accounts were revised, classified and provisioned as the rate of non-performing loans inched up, sparking a slight credit risk unease Implemented in April 2020, the Covid-19 debt restructuring measures came

  • Koh Slaket studio resort brings culture with style

    Davitra (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s multi-million-dollar 13ha Koh Slaket studio-cum-resort just east of the capital was inaugurated in the first phase on August 6, providing national and international tourists with a new travel option and job opportunities for locals. The man-made cultural and scenic lakefront getaway