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Sugarcane a ‘huge potential for farmers’

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The government is seeking to encourage farmers to grow sugarcane. Heng Chivoan

Sugarcane a ‘huge potential for farmers’

Cambodia's three major sugar companies produced 120,126 tonnes of raw sugar in the first nine months of this year, said a Ministry of Industry and Handicraft report.

It said Rui Feng (Cambodia) International Co Ltd produced 56,664 tonnes, Yellow Field (Cambodia) International Ltd (51,420 tonnes) and Koh Kong Sugar Industry Co Ltd (12,042 tonnes). Phnom Penh Sugar Co Ltd did not provide figures, said the report.

The report does not provide last year’s figures for comparison. However, Cambodia’s five major sugar producers exported just four per cent of the country’s planned refined sugar capacity to the international market in 2016 or just 80,000 tonnes, said a previous report from the ministry.

Its officials could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries spokesman Srey Vuthy said the ministry is now trying to persuade farmers to grow sugarcane. This is because the sector has ample room for growth as sugar companies push for higher yields.

He said the sugarcane industry has huge potential for farmers to boost their cultivation to meet the industry’s production requirements.

“The sugarcane industry has huge potential for farmers. If they can produce sugarcane as needed by the industry, it will not only bring them much profit but also promote our economic growth."

“We are now working with farmers and connecting them with factories through contract farming, which will ensure the right price and the market for them."

“If we can put our plan into action successfully, sugarcane cultivation will increase and factories will be able to run a full production line. It will bring huge profits for all parties,” Vuthy said.

The ministry’s figures show that families cultivated 19,717ha of sugarcane last year – an 11 per cent decrease from 2016. Yield also fell by 15 per cent to 629,320 tonnes.

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