Cambodia is seeking to export its mangoes to South Korea, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Contacted yesterday, deputy MAFF director Hean Vanhorn said that a ministry representative would meet with a South Korean agriculture delegation today to discuss the possibility of exporting mangoes there.
“If both countries agree to this, it will be a great opportunity to boost the agricultural sector and mango production of Cambodia,” he said.
“Cambodia has about 60,000 hectares of mango plantations across the country in 2015, which means we will have enough to meet all customers’ needs.”
Independent economic analyst Srey Chanthy welcomed the move, saying that Cambodians could profit from mango exports.
“For the last six years we have had rich mango [crops], but there is no market,” he said.
Mango exports from the Kingdom, especially when compared to regional heavyweights of Thailand and the Philippines, are small.
Cambodia’s first legal mango exports only began in early 2014.
Oum Savoeun, president of the Keo Romeat Mango Association in Kampong Speu province, said export demand from his growers was low.
“Currently there is no [overseas] market for mangoes,” he said, referring to mango production within his association.
Although the new association has about 30 members, Savoeun said “we don’t have any data on exports and plantations”.
There are small export pockets emerging on industrial plantations however.
The main export destinations for Cambodian mangoes are China, followed by France, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, said Orn Phalla, assistant managing director of Kingdom Fruits International Co Ltd, a sister company of Mong Reththy Group, the first firm to export mangoes abroad.
Phalla said the firm was looking to export to Japan and South Korea as well, although a significant hurdle remained higher packaging standards in both countries.
“During this high season we have produced 30 per cent of the total [expected crop], and we hope to reach 7,000 tonnes [of mango] by the end of the year as planned,” she said.