At least 50 mango companies and communities have applied to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to export fresh mangoes to China after Cambodia was approved to export the fruits to the largest market in Asia in June. The agreement called for 500,000 tonnes of mangoes to be exported each year.
Ke Monthivuth, the director of the ministry’s Department of Plant Protection and Phytosanitary Office told The Post on Tuesday that based on the agreement, Cambodian companies must register their farms and packaging locations with the General Department of Agriculture and they must be recognised by officials from the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC). Companies that don’t meet these guidelines cannot export their mangoes to China.
He added that Cambodian companies must implement production protocols in accordance with Good Agricultural Practices and must use vapor heat treatments or hot water treatments to sterilise their crops and exterminate pests.
Monthivuth said: “This requires the participation of both local and foreign investors in the construction of steam treatment plants and the hot water treatment plants [for farmers] to sterilise their crops and exterminate pests,” he said.
He added that as of this September, the General Department of Agriculture has received applications for registration from mango plantations and packaging locations from a total of 45 community farming companies, plantation owners and farms.
Currently, 23 companies are building steam treatment facilities to exterminate mango flies.
In June this year, Cambodia and China officially signed an agreement to allow for the export of 500,000 tonnes of fresh mangoes a year. The agreement was made in the hopes of boosting domestic agricultural exports to China.
Monthivuth said: “The General Department of Agriculture has been striving to promote the implementation of activities to improve mango production lines for export to the Chinese market through a workshop to disseminate phytosanitary requirements to all stakeholders.”
Chhun Daro, the administrative director of a Chinese-owned Cam MJ Agricultural Park, told The Post on Tuesday that his company had not yet applied to export fresh mangoes to the Chinese market because it was still in the process of installing machines to kill pests.
“We have not yet installed the machine, because the Covid-19 problem has hampered the process. We are very interested in the fresh mango export market in China,” he said.
Daro said that his company has two factories, a mango jam processing factory built on 100ha located in Kampong Speu province’s Kong Pisey district and a factory that plans to install a disinfection machine on 24ha in Kampong Speu’s Phnom Sruoch district.
Mao Sothea, the sales manager of Kirirom Food Product Co Ltd, a mango processing factory, told The Post that her company is also interested in applying to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries for fresh mango exports to the Chinese market. The company has invested in about 600ha of mango plantations in Kampong Speu province.
“I am also interested in exporting fresh mangoes to China. We have enough capacity to supply mangoes for this market, which is a good opportunity for us to expand to the Chinese market,” she said.
The only company known to have applied for the mango exports to China is Hyundai Mao Legacy Co Ltd. The company is awaiting confirmation from the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China.
Ngin Chhay, the director-general of the General Department of Agriculture said Hyundai is the only company which currently has a steam treatment plant capable of cleaning and disinfecting between 30 and 40 tonnes of mangoes.
According to ministry data, Cambodia exported more than 62,920 tonnes of fresh mangoes in the first nine months of 2020, an increase of 58 per cent year-on-year. Cambodia’s mangoes are exported to Thailand, Vietnam, France, South Korea and Hong Kong.