The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries plans to set up three agricultural wholesale markets this year, in the capital’s outskirts and in Battambang and Tbong Khmum provinces.
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon told The Post that the products at the market – along with relevant facilities such as refrigeration – would be properly graded for quality and safety, with their place of origin indicated.
He said the new wholesale centres would provide consumers with safe vegetables and expand the market for growers as well.
He indicated that adherence to Cambodia Good Agricultural Practices (CamGAP), safety strategies, and modern cultivation and other agricultural techniques would be key criteria for selecting growers and their products.
The minister said there were also plans to export the products sold at the markets.
Hun Lak, CEO of Tropicam Fruit and Vegetable Co Ltd, a safe-vegetable grower, said the wholesale markets had been one of his main goals.
“For this market to function well, it requires us to work hard to produce – as well as to encourage farmers to take up growing all manner of horticultural crops – and try to scale up production multiple times by using the right agricultural inputs and practising good agriculture, to avoid competing with imported vegetables on price,” he said.
He said his company has been preparing for the modern age of agriculture and horticulture by reducing the use of chemical pesticides and switching to natural fertilisers.
He added that, with the cooperation of the head of the General Directorate of Agriculture, the firm has set up a ‘model safe vegetable centre’ as a partnership to boost the safe-vegetable value chain, in accordance with CamGAP standards.
Cambodian Centre for Study and Development in Agriculture director Sam Vitou asserted that safe-vegetable growers would no longer face market problems with the new wholesale centres.
But he cautioned that the prices of the products should be acceptable for consumers, and competitive with those of neighbouring countries as well.
Cambodia harvested 4,365,878 tonnes of horticultural crops last year, of which 908,595 tonnes were vegetables, 3,457,193 tonnes were fruits and 90 tonnes were ornamental plants, the directorate reported.