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Snap change for croc exports

Snap change for croc exports

110829_8
Crocodiles lounge beside a murky pool on a farm in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district. Photo by: Heng Chivoan

THE Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries had moved to allow crocodile exporters to receive necessary permits in the provinces rather than making the trip to Phnom Penh, officials said yesterday.

Establishing the ‘‘one window office’’ in the provinces came after Siem Reap crocodile farmers circulated a petition last week aiming to make changes to the industry.

Fisheries Administration director-general Nao Thouk said yesterday the changes had taken effect on Friday, and stemmed from a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen.

“To make it easier, exporters won’t have to come to Phnom Penh,” said Nao Thouk.

Exporters would now be able to receive permission letters allowing export at provincial offices of MAFF, he said.

The requirement to travel to Phnom Penh to register crocodile exports was one of five main complaints that the Siem Reap farmers raised last week. The others include reorganising the industry representative body and electing a new leader, increased transparency for the fee regime for exports, and fewer restrictions on exporters.

Cambodia exports some 200,000 crocodiles to Vietnam and Thailand each year, fetching around $4 million in the trade, said Nao Thouk.

Battambang-based crocodile farmer Heng Chheng said  he had not yet heard about the changes, but hoped these measures would increase the stability of the price of hatchlings.

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