Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Quality control to lift exports

Quality control to lift exports

A rice farmer in Kampong Cham lays his rice in the sun.
A rice farmer in Kampong Cham lays his rice in the sun. Hong Menea

Quality control to lift exports

China will work with Cambodian officials to broaden the range of agricultural products that the Asian economic giant allows to be imported from the Kingdom, government officials said yesterday.

Ken Ratha, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, confirmed that China’s General Administration, Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) had agreed to establish a joint task force, which will develop a new Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) protocol, granting more Cambodian agricultural produce, such as pepper, mangos and cashews, access to the Chinese market.

“This SPS certificate is an important step towards market expansion for our agriculture products,” Ratha said, adding that historically Cambodian farmers have been forced to rely on Thai or Vietnamese buyers to relay their produce onto to the Chinese market.

China’s General Administration has final say over all product quality and safety of imported food in China. Currently, China only allows Cambodian rice and cassava into their market due to General Administration’s strict sanitation regulations.

“We will be able to reduce our reliance on neighbouring countries as markets for our crops and be able to directly export to China. Having China as a market, farmers will have more confidence about demand and pricing of their products,” Ratha said.

According to Ratha, the ministries of agriculture and commerce will work together to select a committee for the joint task force. Once the protocol has been finalised, guidelines and standards will be dispersed to Cambodian farmers.

In addition to opening the trade lines between China and Cambodia for products such as fruit, cashew nuts and rubber, China has also agreed to amend rice import protocols to include broken rice.

Hun Lak, president of rice exporter Mekong Oryaza Trade, said China is a key market for Cambodia’s rice sector after the European Union.

“Though Cambodia is granted [duty-free status in the EU through its Everything But Arms scheme], it will not be forever. So we have to expand our market to countries like China,” Lak said.

“I expect more demand from China if Cambodia does well on producing good quality rice and supplies it on time,” he said.

Meas Leun, a cassava and corn farmer in Pailin province, welcomed the news, saying it could potentially release him from selling to Thai traders who then export to China.

“This is very good news. I hope farmers will be able to sell their crop at a higher price and have a more stable market,” he said.

Leun added that the government should focus on ensuring the proposed standards were well documented and clearly communicated to farmers once they are established.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen says Kingdom not a 'satellite country'

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia had sent diplomatic notes to various embassies demonstrating its stance and clarifying allegations that the Kingdom is a satellite country of China which will allow it exclusive access to the Ream Naval Base in Preah Sihanouk province. The response

  • Vast Prince Manor fun park opens to much fanfare in Kandal

    Chinese-owned Prince Culture and Development Co Ltd officially launched the $85 million Prince Manor entertainment centre in Kandal province on Wednesday. Prince Manor is located along National Road 1, 20km from the centre of Phnom Penh. It is the first major theme park project in Cambodia and

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • Floods prompt evacuations in Kampong Speu

    Rain-induced floods and water flowing from Kampong Speu province have submerged the houses of 1,527 families living close to the Prek Thnot River in Spean Thma, Tien, Kong Noy and Roluos communes in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, according to data from local authorities. Spean Thma

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial