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Rice industry insiders optimistic

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People pose for in front of an Amru Rice (Cambodia) Co Ltd rice storage facility in Kampong Thom during its inauguration in July. AMRU RICE (CAMBODIA) CO LTD

Rice industry insiders optimistic

With more plans for rice storage and silos in Cambodia, industry insiders have expressed their optimism that a lack of facilities will not pose a challenge for the Kingdom’s rice market this year.

Cambodian Rice Federation vice-president Norng Veasna said thanks to efforts from the private sector’s rice millers and support from state institutions, the harvest season this year will not see the same issues as in the past few years.

Drying silos and rice storage facilities can currently be found in almost every province.

“I think we will not have any problems. Many small rice millers have evolved into the modern age and are very capable of drying hundreds or thousands of tonnes of paddy per day,” he said.

Veasna said there are more than 300 rice millers in Cambodia.

Last week, a group of Chinese investors expressed their intention to invest in rice storage facilities and drying silos in Cambodia. This came during a meeting with Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak.

Veasna said Cambodia last year produced a total of around 10.2 million tonnes of paddy.

Three new rice storage and drying facilities were put into operation late last year in Kampong Thom, Prey Veng and Takeo provinces.

Each of the facilities has a capacity of 500,000 tonnes of raw paddy and is able to dry 1,500 tonnes of rice daily.

Last year, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries also launched a rice storage facility funded by the Korean government in Kampong Cham province’s Batheay district. Costing $2.8 million, it can dry 80 tonnes of rice per day and store 600 tonnes.

Amru Rice (Cambodia) Co Ltd CEO Song Saran, who has a large warehouse and dried silos in Kampong Thom and Battambang provinces, said he thinks that this year’s paddy rice harvest will not experience a shortage of dried silos and warehouses.

He said his company plans to buy between 100,000 and 200,000 tonnes of paddy in the upcoming rainy season harvest season.

“My company does not have any problems because we are ready for the next harvest season,” he said.

However, he stressed that a lack of funds and climate change still pose a problem for the sector.

Issues such as cooperation between investors and farmers in paddy harvesting, transport infrastructure and planning for exports are in need of a solution, he said.

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