The export of yellow bananas to international markets last year reached 157,812 tonnes, most of which was exported to China and the rest to Vietnam and Japan, a Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries report showed.
There is no data on 2018 banana exports to international markets as it mostly comprised of informal exports to Vietnam. However, the ministry said Cambodia exported some 10,000 tonnes to international markets in 2018.
Hun Lak, the director of Longmate Agriculture Co Ltd, which plans to invest in 1,000ha of banana plantations in Kampot province by 2021, said over 400ha of plantations were harvested last year – with 10,000 tonnes of yellow bananas going to China.
Prior to Chinese authorities allowing direct exports of yellow bananas to China, most of Longmate’s products were shipped via Vietnam.
“[Longmate’s] exports to China will be high this year, with us now expanding our cultivation area,” Lak said, adding that the company shipped products to China on a weekly basis to meet demand.
The Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries’ director-general at the General Directorate of Agriculture, Ngin Chhay, was unable to provide The Post with a comment.
However, at the inauguration of four banana packing plants in Ratanakkiri province late last month, he said the ministry had been striving to cooperate with Chinese authorities so that more Cambodian companies can obtain rights for banana exports to that country.
“Getting permission from Chinese authorities to allow more Cambodian companies to export bananas will help boost exports to the Chinese market in the coming years,” he said.
According to Chhay, there are nine banana plantations and packaging facilities in Cambodia with approval from Chinese authorities for export to China, including – Longmate, Long Sreng Hua Jian Agriculture Development Co Ltd, Reen Island Agricultural Development (Cambodia) Limited, Sovann Reachsey Co Ltd, and Agricultural Development (Cambodia) Co Ltd.
He said in addition, four firms were recently granted export privileges including – Hoang Anh Andong Meas, Hoang Anh Lumphat, Daun Penh Agrico, and Binhphuoc Kratie Rubber 2.