Local company Men Sarun Import Export will export fragrant milled rice to China through the Chinese-Hong Kong Enterpreneur Association, an insider said.
Choun Kol, Deputy General Director of Men Sarun company, said the company officially signed a business contract with China for 10,000 tonnes of rice.
He said from next month farmers will start to harvest the fragrant unmilled rice and Men Sarun company will commence the operation of the rice milling in Preah Vihear province, where a machine with the capacity to mill 4-5 tonnes of rice per hour is installed.
The company also has rice mills – capable of milling about 30 tonnes per hour – in Phnom Penn.
“We are preparing to buy paddy rice to process it into milled rice,” he said. “We buy from farmers in Battambang, Banteay Meanchey and Preah Vihear provinces.”
The first export with a quantity of 1,000 tonnes will start in November and December. More will be exported in the following months. The exporting is done through the Phnom Penh and Preah Sihanoukvillve ports.
He said the collections of paddy rice will be hard for the company because farmers have grown different paddy rice seeds from one farm to another, leading to unpurified harvests.
“We will export step-by-step until we reach 10,000 tonnes. This will take about 3 or 4 months,” he said, adding that, “aside from the Chinese market, we are looking at other markets such as the Phillipines.”
Sen Rith, President of Siem Reap’s Rice Milling Association, said 10,000 tonnes was not ambitious, and it would not be hard to find fragrant paddy rices from provinces – Battambang, Banteay Meanchey or Siem Reap – because these sites have been popular for a long time.
However, there are weak points that stem from the farmers themselves. They did not form cooperatives to grow one specific type of purified seeds demanded by the markets, making it easy for traders to buy it.
In late August, after bilateral talks with the Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming, Cambodian Commerce Senior Minister Cham Prasidh said Cambodia could export around 300,000 tonnes of milled rice per year to China.
To contact the reporter on this story: Rann Reuy at [email protected]