Kampong Speu palm sugar production is projected to decrease slightly this year due to a late start, though prices are expected to rise thanks to the sugar’s growing popularity following its geographical indication certification.
According to Sam Saroeun, president of the Kampong Speu Palm Sugar Promotion Association, although the current climate is right for palm sugar, he was still dissatisfied with the delayed start of production in
December due to farmers tending to their rice paddy.
“Although it is not a significant downturn, a very late start this year is truly affecting our production,” he said. “I am still optimistic, however, that the price is increasing as more is learned about the advantages of our organic product.”
According to Saroeun’s projections, the amount of Kampong Speu palm sugar harvested this year will be lower than the previous year’s 430 tonnes and 440 tonnes in 2011.
Despite the drop in production, Hong Hoeung, director of Kampong Speu Palm Sugar Development Community, said the price of Kampong Speu palm sugar will increase in the coming season.
According to Hoeung, palm sugar powder is selling at 5,500 riel per kilogram, a 17 per cent increase from just 4,700 riel per kilogram in 2012. Moreover, the price of palm sugar block is 3,500 riel per kilogram this year.
Tot Minkalim, production manager of Farmlink Company, an export company that last year started exporting Kampong Speu palm sugar to France, said the demand from France is increasing, which is encouraging farmers to boost their production.
“After a pilot test export to France last year, we are getting more orders from our client,” said Minkalim. “We expect an increase in export volume from last year.”
Currently, the Kampong Speu Palm Sugar Promotion Association consists of 148 members in Oudong and Samrong Tong districts.