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Ministry, Japan agri-firm ink MoU

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The commerce ministry signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Japan’s Yamato Green Co Ltd to develop value chains for agribusiness products on Wednesday. COMMERCE MINISTRY

Ministry, Japan agri-firm ink MoU

The Ministry of Commerce on January 6 signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Japan’s Yamato Green Co Ltd to develop value chains for agribusiness products.

Having registered with the Ministry of Commerce on April 22, Yamato Green has had relative success in growing safe vegetables in Battambang and Mondulkiri provinces.

The deal was signed between Samrith Sakura, acting director-general of the ministry’s Domestic Trade General Directorate, and Yamato Green founder and CEO Katsuhito Nabeshima at the ministry.

The signing was witnessed by minister Pan Sorasak and Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami.

Speaking at the ceremony, Sorasak said the MoU was a result of government policy to promote the agribusiness sector in Cambodia.

He said the agreement would establish fruitful cooperation, address challenges in the value chain and strengthen productivity and quality in response to market trends.

“As an industrial and agro-business development partner, Yamato Green will be a suitable partner for the development of sustainable agribusiness production and the provision of processing and packaging techniques and various procedures to increase opportunities to effectively supply the domestic and export markets,” Sorasak said.

He said Yamato Green’s involvement in developing a state-of-the-art production model will boost current local production and address the challenges associated with sustainable business model production in the digital age.

“Small and medium-sized enterprises [SMEs] and farmers’ groups will be able to establish an inclusive supply chain and gain a competitive advantage for market penetration and broad diversification,” Sorasak said.

Tropicam Fruit and Vegetable Co Ltd CEO Hun Lak told The Post that the partnership arrangement resulting from the MoU was a ministerial effort to re-direct more of Cambodian vegetable production towards exports.

“Teaming up with a Japanese firm will help tune our agricultural products up to standards and make them more exportable going forward,” he said, lauding the agreement as a boon for the Kingdom’s farmers with exposure to global markets.

“Our potential vegetables, such as lemongrass, Moringa oleifera, ginger and pepper, are resistant to shipping stress and are not widely produced abroad. We can grow a lot of these vegetables and at high standards,” Lak said.

At the same time, Sorasak suggested that the two parties have a detailed information management system in place to share tasks and data in a timely manner.

He proposed they should set up medium- and long-term coordination system and mechanism to ensure that technical assistance and benefits are provided to participating companies, SMEs and farmer groups.

He called on Yamato Green to help bring agro-commercial products from smallholder farmers to large markets, increase investment volume and provide development techniques at all stages of the agribusiness production cycle from cultivation, processing, packaging to delivery.

Cambodia’s total exports reached $16 billion this year, marking an increase of more than 14 per cent compared to 2019, Prime Minister Hun Sen told a live press briefing on December 29, citing preliminary data.

The prime minister noted that exports of the Kingdom’s seven key agricultural products clocked in at $3.881 billion. Milled rice accounted for 675,000 tonnes (up 11.11 per cent year-on-year) worth $514 million.

Shipments of cassava, cashew nuts, mango, yellow bananas and Pailin longan weighed in at seven million tonnes, 218,884 tonnes, 850,000 tonnes, 313 tonnes and 174 tonnes, respectively, valued at “more than $1 billion”, $288 million, $473 million, $551 million and $57 million, he said.

Peppercorn exports were worth $25 million, he added.

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