Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rice federation to vote for president on July 2

Rice federation to vote for president on July 2

A rice farmer uses a small mechanical harvester in a Tbong Khmum province rice field earlier this year.
A rice farmer uses a small mechanical harvester in a Tbong Khmum province rice field earlier this year. Heng Chivoan

Rice federation to vote for president on July 2

With voting set to take place on July 2 to elect the next president of the Cambodian Rice Federation (CRF), the organisation has pledged to further strengthen its mandate, while rice millers and exporters claim they have lost confidence in the organisation’s ability to achieve necessary reforms.

Penn Sovicheat, director of the domestic trade department at the Ministry of Commerce and a member of the CRF election committee, said that the next president would continue to push for the government’s elusive 1 million tonne rice export target.

This will be the second time that the CRF has elected a president since the organisation was formed, and the internal structure has been tweaked to be more inclusive, he said. Now, the sitting president will be accompanied by five vice presidents chosen by the 16 members of the board.

“The new president will follow the plan outlined in the previous mandate,” Sovicheat said, adding that there would be no lag time as the structural reforms were already in place.

However, Kann Kunthy, chief executive officer of Battambang rice miller Brico, said that even though the CRF had been restructured to include more voices, he had little hope for the organisation.

“I have no confidence in the new mandate, since I have already lost confidence in the current mandate,” he said. “With one president and five vice presidents, that structure will not allow for reforms. There will be no efficiency and no action.”

“In order to survive the rice industry, we need the government to take action, not just have plans.”

Moul Sarith, secretary-general of CRF, countered and said that the next president will be more productive and will promote not only short-term interests, but introduce a long-term strategy. “The next mandate will produce results, as long as we have five committees that meet with the five vice presidents to insure there is an action plan,” he said.

Phou Puy, director of Baitong (Kampuchea) PLC, welcomed the revised structure, but still questioned the next presidents ability to lead. “It is good to have a chance to vote, as it is a kind of democracy,” he said. “But I can’t say how it will actually affect the rice industry.”

Song Saran, CEO of AMRU Rice, was more optimistic that the next president could produce tangible results as he addressed the most pressing concerns.

“If the next president can address farmer’s and rice miller’s concerns, we will be able to compete in the market,” he said. Transportation and production costs should be the biggest concern, he added.

MOST VIEWED

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • US embassy guard gets Covid despite two doses of Pfizer jab

    The Covid-19 tracking commission on June 4 said a security guard at the US embassy in Phnom Penh had contracted the novel coronavirus, despite having received a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot two weeks ago. Embassy spokesperson Chad Roedemeier confirmed the SARS-CoV-2 infection to The

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth

  • Kingdom set to be a gold producer

    Cambodia will soon join the roster of gold producing countries after the government announced the commencement of commercial gold mining operations in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province's Keo Seima district from June 21. Prime Minister Hun Sen on June 10 announced that after 14 years of