The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has registered and certified about 250 farms, orchards and plantations for Cambodia Good Agricultural Practices (CamGAP) standards, accreditation that will offer growers ample opportunities to build a strong market position.
The CamGAP rules were developed and approved by the ministry in 2018 with the aim of improving the quality and safety of agricultural products in the Kingdom.
Ke Monthivuth, the director of the ministry’s Department of Plant Protection and Phytosanitary Office, highlighted the importance of CamGAP certification – and integration into the associated QR-code Agricultural Source Monitoring System – as an affirmation to consumers that growers’ products meet quality and safety standards, and cause no significant harm to the environment.
He told The Post on June 21 that products affixed with a QR code have a wide range of domestic and international market opportunities.
“Plantations or farms certified to be compliant can use the CamGAP logo along with a QR-code label on their products,” Monthivuth said.
He added that to be eligible for a QR-code label, farm and plantation owners must apply to the ministry’s General Directorate of Agriculture, attend training courses, and undergo an inspection of their growing areas, cleaning and sanitising installations and packaging facilities, as well as have samples of their agricultural products taken for lab analyses to confirm acceptable levels of safety.
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon said his ministry has been working to promote compliance with CamGAP rules and the use of QR codes, as part of a five-year strategic plan it drew up.
The main rewards from CamGAP are socio-economic and environmental in nature, including ramped up production of local, quality produce that meets food safety and hygiene requirements, he said, adding that CamGAP was evaluated by an ASEAN expert working group as fully compliant with the ASEAN Good Agricultural Practices (ASEAN GAP) rules.
“Promoting the implementation of CamGAP has not only contributed to improving the quality and safety of food locally, but has also directly shored up Cambodian agricultural exports to international markets,” Sakhon said.
The registration of farms deemed to be in accordance with CamGAP has become an important technical mechanism to ensure strict compliance with food safety standards, he stressed.
The ministry’s support for the registration of private companies, cooperatives and other plantation others is a major reason for the success of its negotiations with Chinese and South Korean authorities on phytosanitary requirements for export, according to the minister.
The Kingdom exported 4,187,257.43 tonnes of agricultural products to 57 countries and territories in the first five months of this year, an increase of 89.32 per cent on a yearly basis, the ministry reported.