China has allowed Cambodia to export fresh mangoes directly to its market after Chinese Customs on April 26 certified 37 mango plantations and five packaging factories as compliant with phytosanitary and packaging standards.
The approval came after experts from the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China (GACC) in Guangxi province on March 10 virtually inspected mango plantations and steam treatments plants that sterilise crops and exterminate pests, specifically the fly larvae found in mangoes.
The five approved packaging plants are Hyundai Mao Legacy Co Ltd, Shangda Jian Hui International Agriculture Product and Logistic and Al Jazeeland Food Pte Ltd as well as Long Wo Agriculture (Cambodia) Co Ltd and Boeung Ket Fresh Fruits Co Ltd.
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon said this comes after three years of negotiations, adding that the ministry would hold an official mango export ceremony this week in collaboration with the Chinese ambassador to Cambodia.
"On behalf of the leadership of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, I would like to express my deep gratitude to the Government of the People's Republic of China, especially the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China, for officially authorising the import of fresh mangoes from Cambodia," he said.
Hun Lak, CEO of Rich Farm Asia Co Ltd, a local agricultural investor, welcomed the new achievement, which he called a government effort through the ministry.
Hun Lak told The Post on April 27 that gaining directly access to the Chinese market for fresh Cambodian mango exports would encourage plantation owners and exporters to continue their efforts to develop their plantations from traditional or family-based 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.
Lak said that both parties will hold an official export ceremony early next month, meaning that Cambodia will be able to officially export.
"The mango season – we can harvest again this May, some of which can be exported to the Chinese market," he said.
The Chinese embassy in Phnom Penh wrote on its official Facebook page on April 27 that Cambodian mangoes could be exported to China after the GACC had officially posted a list of mango plantations and packaging plants registered to export mangoes from Cambodia to China.
“It is another significant achievement in the real cooperation between Cambodia-China during the spread of Covid-19 pandemic as it will boost the collaboration and provide the mutual benefit between two countries on the agricultural sector,” wrote the embassy.
Cambodia's fresh mangoes are the second agricultural product after fresh bananas to be exported directly to China.
The minister said the General Directorate of Agriculture continues to receive applications from domestic mango plantations and packaging locations wanting to export fresh mangoes to China, with 55 obtained so far.
On June 9, last year, Cambodia and China signed a protocol on phytosanitary requirements for the export of fresh mangoes from Cambodia to China.