Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Salt farmers fear little output due to rainfall

Salt farmers fear little output due to rainfall

Salt sits piled up in a pond at a salt farm in Kampot province in April
Salt sits piled up in a pond at a salt farm in Kampot province in April. ANNE RENZENBRINK

Salt farmers fear little output due to rainfall

As salt farmers in Kep and Kampot provinces prepare for the upcoming salt season, they have expressed concerns that unstable weather conditions could cause a supply shortage on the growing domestic market.

Rain has caused farmers to delay the salt production, Ly Seng, president of the Kep-Kampot Salt Producer Association, said, adding that last year at this time, farmers had already started harvesting the first salt.

“This year we are not sure if we can supply enough salt to the market because the weather keeps on changing,” he said.

Salt production in Cambodia usually starts in early January and ends in late April, when salt farmers collect their final yield. Kep and Kampot are the only salt-producing regions in the country supplying the nationwide market. The total output changes according to the weather but with around 4,500 hectares of salt fields, both provinces can produce close to 90,000 tonnes annually. The output is just enough to meet domestic demand and is not yet being exported.

Noun Phalla, a salt farmer who owns 80 hectares of salt field, expects to produce 1,300 tonnes of salt this season. However, Phalla is concerned that early rainfall would decrease his output. He said work has already been delayed.

“The rain has just stopped a few days ago.”

Rainfall is not a new problem for salt farmers. In 2012, total salt production reached only 50 per cent of the expected yield. The 50,000 tonnes of salt in stocks from the previous year kept the price stable, according to Seng.

The current price of salt sold on the farms is about $4 for a 50-kilogram bag.

In 2009, Cambodia imported 60,000 tonnes of salt from China to supply domestic market. Seng said that if salt production decreases again this year, Cambodia will have to import again from China or India.

The Kep-Kampot Salt Producer Association plans to expand its fields by an additional 200 hectares to meet the high demand in the domestic market.

Seng said he submitted a proposal for 200 more hectares to Kampot’s Department of Industry, Mines and Energy before the election and was currently waiting for government approval.

MOST VIEWED

  • Touch: Rainsy will never return

    Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), has claimed it has achieved 70 per cent of its struggle to find a solution to the current political situation in the Kingdom. Just before boarding a plane at Charles de Gaulle

  • Sokha continues call for dropping of charge after bail conditions reduced

    Not satisfied with having his bail conditions reduced, allowing him to travel freely in Cambodia, Kem Sokha says he wants his charge totally dropped. “As an innocent man who has been in detention for two years even without being found guilty, I continue to demand

  • Sar Kheng: Rainsy return not blocked

    Minister of Interior Sar Kheng clarified that Cambodia had never blocked Sam Rainsy from returning to the Kingdom. However, he said Cambodia reserved the right to take legal action as allowed by law against activities aimed at destroying the Kingdom. “No one blocked the return

  • Reports: Rainsy barred from Jakarta flight

    Sam Rainsy was on Wednesday refused entry to a flight from Malaysia to Indonesia, media reported late on Wednesday. The “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party’s announced return to the Kingdom on Independence Day on Saturday failed to occur. Rainsy

  • King Sihamoni presides over opening of Water Festival

    King Norodom Sihamoni presided over the lighting of the lantern barges, representing the many ministries, in front of the Royal Palace on Sunday as the first day of the annual Water Festival celebrations went smoothly. Bun Veasna, an official at the National Committee for Organising

  • Government studying EU’s preliminary report on EBA

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Wednesday said the government was studying the EU Commission’s preliminary report on the human rights situation in the Kingdom that could lead to a suspension of access to its “Everything But Arms” (EBA) agreement. The