Cambodia will officially commemorate its first direct export of fresh mangoes to China on May 7, according to Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon on May 4.

This comes after the Chinese General Administration of Customs (GACC) on April 26 certified 37 mango plantations and five packaging factories as compliant with phytosanitary and packaging standards.

On June 9, Cambodia and China signed a protocol on phytosanitary requirements for the export of fresh Cambodian mangoes to East Asian country.

Sakhon confirmed via Facebook that a ministerial working group is organising the ceremony for the inaugural shipment at Al Jazeelan Food Pte's facilities in the capital's Sen Sok district.

The minister estimates that Cambodia can supply about 100,000 tonnes of fresh mangoes to the Chinese market per year, voicing optimism that this amount will continue to increase from year to year.

"Many big companies have already set up mango packaging plants and there will be more recognition from the Chinese customs administration, which will increase the number of factories and increase the volume simultaneously," he said.

Hun Lak, CEO of Rich Farm Asia Co Ltd, a local agricultural investor, told The Post last week that gaining access to Cambodia's fresh mango export market directly to China would encourage plantation owners and exporters to ramp up efforts to develop their plantations from traditional or family-based mango operations to commercial production.

"This means that the mangoes are of quality and standards, in accordance with the export requirements, when Cambodia is able to officially export, so all mango plantation owners across the country will have to work hard to provide mangoes in accordance with the standards of the [GACC],” he said, adding this month marks the beginning of harvest season, which will buoy exports to China.

A mid-December report from the General Directorate of Agriculture found that Cambodia has 124,319ha of mango plantations, which yield an average of 15.5 tonnes per hectare per each of the year's two seasons.