Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New business centre to buy 500 tonnes of produce daily

New business centre to buy 500 tonnes of produce daily

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
An artist’s rendition of the Agricultural Business Centre, or Sopheakmith Market, located in the capital’s Por Sen Chey district. PHOTO SUPPLIED

New business centre to buy 500 tonnes of produce daily

The newly formed Agricultural Business Centre says it will buy approximately 500 tonnes of vegetables per day from farmers to meet demand in Phnom Penh, a move that was met with applause from the farming community in Sa’ang district of Kandal province.

Phan Sopheak, founder of the Agricultural Business Centre located in Choam Chao I commune of Por Sen Chey district in Phnom Penh, told The Post that his centre aims to buy vegetables from farmers and distribute them to markets in the capital. However, the farmers have to pack their products according to hygienic techniques at their farms and then transport them to the centre.

He said that produce bought by the centre will be distributed to customers who are brokers. There are two types of vegetables to be collected: Common market vegetables and organic vegetables.

However, the organic vegetables can only cover about 15 to 20 per cent of the demand for mixed vegetables and, according to estimates, Phnom Penh may need about 500 tonnes of agricultural products per day.

“My plan for the future is to buy only crops that have been grown according to agricultural technical standards and in the future I hope our Cambodian people will be comfortable eating only organic products,” he said.

According to Sopheak, he has been thinking about setting up the agribusiness centre for the past 10 years. As far as target areas he will collect agricultural products from he said he already has some ideas, but he has not yet visited any local agricultural communities or provinces yet.

The Agricultural Business Centre will be built on an area of 17,000 square meters and is scheduled to launch in April.

Separately, Chhim Kimsan, president of the Cambodian Farmer Economic Development Organization (CFED), told The Post on March 1 that his organisation – in collaboration with the Agricultural Business Centre – was the facilitator of the legal documents with relevant ministries and institutions for the project. His NGO also has a role to play in training farmers on organic techniques in addition to their existing agricultural knowledge.

He said that at present, farmers and especially Cambodian students have learned a lot of new agricultural skills, but their agricultural businesses are still facing market problems. Tough competition in this market is also due to the large number of imports from abroad, however, he is not entirely opposed to the imports.

“Importing should not be banned, but in the future the farmers who work with the centre and our organisation will reach an agreement and then the farmers will be more involved in this work,” he said.

Touch Chich, president of Svay Proteal Knong Kdei Sangkhoem Agricultural Cooperative in Sa’ang district of Kandal province, said that the cooperative currently has 170 members and the crops being grown are lettuce, white cabbage, Chinese curly cabbage, bok choy, yellow cabbage, choy sum, mustard cabbage, Chinese kale and many other vegetables. These vegetables are contracted by the AIC company with the cooperative to buy them every season.

She said that the community harvested more than 300kg of farming produce per day and the harvesting is done based on the orders from the company. As for the price, depending on the type of vegetable, the average price per kilogram is between “more than 2,000” ($0.50) to “over 4,000 riel”. However, this month, farmers are facing problems due to the changing weather and not growing enough vegetables, but at the same time the price of vegetables is rising.

“The provincial agriculture department appreciates that the community vegetable growers use organic fertilisers and natural fertilisers as their vegetables are delicious and they also reduce chemical exposure, and I hope that after the Agricultural Business Centre opens the vegetables in the community will have more markets,” she said.


  • Joy as Koh Ker Temple registered by UNESCO

    Cambodia's Koh Ker Temple archaeological site has been officially added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on September 17. The ancient temple, also known as Lingapura or Chok Gargyar, is located in

  • Famed US collector family return artefacts to Cambodia

    In the latest repatriation of ancient artefacts from the US, a total of 33 pieces of Khmer cultural heritage will soon return home, according to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. In a September 12 press statement, it said the US Attorney’s Office for the

  • Tina rebuffs ‘false claims’ over falling paddy price

    Agriculture minister Dith Tina has shed light on the trade of paddy rice in Battambang – Cambodia’s leading rice-producing province – in a bid to curb what he dubs a “social media fact distortion campaign” to destabilise the market. While acknowledging that the prices of paddy

  • Cambodia set to celebrate Koh Ker UNESCO listing

    To celebrate the inscription of the Koh Ker archaeological site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the Ministry of Cults and Religion has appealed to pagodas and places of worship to celebrate the achievement by ringing bells, shaking rattles and banging gongs on September 20. Venerable

  • Kampot curfew imposed to curb ‘gang’ violence

    Kampot provincial police have announced measures to contain a recent spike in antisocial behaviour by “unruly’ youth. Officials say the province has been plagued by recent violence among so-called “gang members”, who often fight with weapons such as knives and machetes. Several social observers have

  • PM outlines plans to discuss trade, policy during US visit

    Prime Minister Hun Manet is set to meet with senior US officials and business leaders during his upcoming visit to the US for the UN General Assembly (UNGA), scheduled for September 20. While addressing nearly 20,000 workers in Kampong Speu province, Manet said he aims to affirm