Agriculture minister Dith Tina has urged farmers in Banteay Meanchey and Pailin provinces to formally export their products to ensure better control and higher value.

During his field visit earlier this month, Tina assessed the current trade landscape between Cambodia and Thailand at the Malai border checkpoint, where nearly 80 per cent of goods leaving the country consist of agricultural items like corn and cassava, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Tina emphasised the need for formal procedures after observing that some goods had been unofficially shipped abroad, hindering the ministry’s ability to collect accurate data for development planning.

He visited Sere Farm, a cooperative longan cultivation and processing centre, advising it to focus on advertising as well as quality and safety measures to increase the value of their stock.

“The company must have a clear production plan to ensure a secure value chain and boost foreign transactions, thereby contributing to the Kingdom’s goal of becoming a high-middle-income country by 2030,” Tina stated.

“Officials need to support farmers in meeting market demands for a stable supply and good prices. This is essential for a profitable, efficient and sustainable economy, and will help us reach our 2030 income goal,” he added, while also urging officials to focus on forest and fisheries protection.

Uon Silot, president of the Cashew nut Association of Cambodia (CAC), agreed that informal sales to neighbouring countries could skew data, creating challenges for potential investors in the country’s agricultural sector.

“Our association’s data is higher than the ministry’s due to the lack of control over casual exports. Accurate data will demonstrate our country’s strong potential in harvest output,” Silot said.

He also suggested that customs authorities record all data, even for shipments to bordering countries that are not taxed, in order to provide reliable information to investors.