Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Raising rat revenue

Raising rat revenue

Raising rat revenue

Hourt Vy, 40, transports a load of field rats from Kandal province to the Cambodia-Vietnam border earlier this week. Photo by: Heng Chivoan

VIETNAMESE demand for field rat meat is boosting some Cambodians’ income, local traders say.

Traders in Kandal province claimed the Vietnamese consider rat meat an affordable delicacy, and said it generated a modest wage that often served as a secondary source of income.

“Rats in Vietnam are used for food, and sometimes to make pâté meat,” said Hourt Vy, who for 10 years has been buying rats in Kandal and selling them in the Kingdom’s eastern neighbour.

He claimed rat meat was well regarded in parts of Vietnam, and enjoyed on the level of pork and beef.

Hourt Vy said he can collect as much as 150 kilogrammes a day, buying them for 3,500 riel per kilogramme and selling them across the border for 4,000 riel per kilogramme.

“People without a job can do this to make money to support their families. And some do it to add to money they’re already making at their regular job,” he said, adding that rat traders can turn profits up to 15,000 riel per day.

Sang Yung, a buyer in Kandal province’s Koh Thom district, said he has exported rats from Kandal, Kampong Cham and Kampong Thom provinces to Vietnam. His Vietnamese customers pay 4,200 riel per kilogramme, giving him a profit of 200 riel per kilogramme.

“Vietnam indeed needs more rats because they use it for food. And dead rats are used to feed fish and crocodiles,” he said.

Sang Yung added that rat trading is currently a popular profession as demand from Vietnam is high.

In Khun, district governor in Koh Thom said that rat trading serves a dual purpose for people in his area.

“Most are farmers growing dry-season rice who capture the rats to keep them from eating the rice, but they can make additional money by selling the rats as well,” said In Khun.

The Cambodian government does not charge a tax on rat exports because they damage crops here, some rat traders said.

The Vietnamese government has created a policy that calls on the country’s population to catch rats for the same reason, In Khun said.

Officials at Chrey Thom gate, a border crossing through which many rat traders operate, could not be reached for comment.

Vietnamese Commercial Counsellor Le Bien Cuong, who is based in Phnom Penh, said that he did not have any information about the export of rats to Vietnam from Cambodia. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY PRAK SAY


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australian police investigating death threat against Kem Ley's widow

    Updated: 10:17am, Friday March 23, 2018 Australian authorities on Thursday confirmed they have launched an investigation into a crudely written death threat sent tothe family of slain political analyst Kem Ley and Victoria state MP Hong Lim. The typed letter, reported to Victoria police last week, is

  • Apparel groups including H&M and Gap urge Cambodia garment industry reform, seek meeting with Hun Sen

    A group representing some of the largest apparel brands in the US and Europe – including Gap, H&M and ASOS – expressed “growing concern” on Tuesday over several controversial labour laws and ongoing court cases against unionists described as restrictive and unjust. In an open letter

  • Hun Sen says Montagnards don’t exist in Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen once again attacked ex-opposition leader Sam Rainsy for pledging “autonomy” to Montagnards, claiming – seemingly incorrectly – the ethnic minority does not exist in Cambodia. “We respect all minorities such as Jarai, Steang, Phnong, but we have never had Montagnards,” the premier said