Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Making palm sugar harvest attractive again

Making palm sugar harvest attractive again

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A worker moves from one tree to another collect palm sugar juice. AFP

Making palm sugar harvest attractive again

Kampong Speu Palm Sugar, which has a geographical indication (GI) status, is seeing lower production due to a labour shortage.

Kampong Speu Palm Sugar Promotion Association (KSPSPA) president, Sam Saroeun, said on Tuesday that production fell from 300 tonnes last year to 250 tonnes this year.

While the association is trying to emphasise the benefits of palm sugar production, young people mostly seek employment outside the agricultural sector, Saroeun said.

“We need enough workers to collect the juice needed for the sugar production. But the younger generation prefers to work in the garment industry rather than climb trees."

“A farmer can earn $4,000 per year,” he said. But on an annual basis, a garment worker could earn more than twice as much.

“As we also want to promote the Khmer production of palm sugar, we visit villages and talk about our profit margins to encourage them to come back [to agriculture] and increase our production,” he said.

In 2010, Kampong Speu palm sugar was awarded the geographical indication (GI) status. The label guarantees the origin of the product and assures buyers that the sugar is produced according to tightly controlled quality specifications.

The main production base is in Kampong Speu Province’s Oudong district. Farmers can produce around 15-20kg a day which is sold at 5,000 riel a kilogramme, according to Saroeun.

KSPSPA has 200 members and exports to 16 countries, including Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and France which are the main importers. It also supplies the domestic market.

Confirel production director Hym Piseth said Cambodian palm sugar turns out to be popular in the international market, and hence orders keep increasing.

“If we manage to maintain the quality of palm sugar, we can pay the workers more and attract them to go back to work in the village,” he said.

In 2016, farmers harvested 1.2 million palm trees, collecting 70-100kg of sugar each over six months.

MOST VIEWED

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • Four-pillar approach in reopening of tourism: PM

    Cambodia is drawing up a four-strategy approach to promptly restore domestic and international tourism activity and put the industry on a transition pathway to a sustainable and inclusive model that is resistant to future crises, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen. The prime minister made

  • Airline says ready for green light to reopen international tourism

    Sky Angkor Airline Co Ltd on September 21 said it is ready to transport South Korean and Chinese tourists to the Kingdom once the Cambodian government makes good on plans to reopen its borders to vaccinated travellers. The Siem Reap-based airline made the remark during a

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Cambodian bride ‘badly treated, held captive’ by Chinese man seeks help

    A Cambodian woman who travelled to China to marry a Chinese man there was “badly treated” by her husband’s family and then had to be rescued and will be returned to Cambodia to ensure her safety. The rescue operation came about after the 25-year-old