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Kingdom soon to directly ship yellow bananas to China

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A couple are transporting bananas along National Road 1 in Kandal province on January 9, 2017. Heng Chivoan

Kingdom soon to directly ship yellow bananas to China

The direct shipment of yellow bananas to China may officially begin by the end of next month and will no longer go through Vietnam, according to Longmate Agriculture Co Ltd chief financial officer Hun Lak.

The Kingdom and China signed a protocol on the export of bananas on August 2 last year.

Local company Longmate Agriculture has invested $32 million in over 1,600ha to grow yellow bananas in Kampot province’s Chhouk district. Currently, the company is investing in the first phase of the project by planting the fruit on over 400ha.

Lak said although its banana exports comply with sanitary standards and are packaged as required by the Chinese, exports are currently not official and await that country’s authorities’ final inspection.

“According to sources, a Chinese working group will come to Cambodia after Chinese New Year, so I think direct exports to China could start late in February or early March.”

Lak said the Chinese side has already agreed to the formalities and requirements. Longmate Agriculture currently exports one or two containers of bananas daily. While he did not reveal the bananas’ price tag, he said, “it’s acceptable”.

Yellow bananas are resistant to transport, do not easily overripe and have a thick wall. They can yield 60 to 73 tonnes per hectare annually, and can be harvested trice in two years.

According to data from the General Department of Agriculture, from the third quarter of last year, three major yellow banana farms existed in Cambodia. They are located in Rattanakkiri, Kratie and Kampot provinces and have a total area of 4,996ha – all for export.