VISITING Cambodia last week, the governor of China's Guangxi province, Ma Biao, said Chinese investors were eyeing Cambodia's undeveloped rice production sector, according to a Foreign Ministry official.
Koy Kuong, an undersecretary of state at the ministry, said the Chinese governor said he would encourage more Chinese companies to invest in rice mills in Cambodia.
Cambodia's agriculture industry has long-suffered from a shortage of mills to process and store its sizeable rice yields. With insufficient capital, many farmers are forced to sell raw paddy - earning little profit - or even let crops go to waste due to poor storage capacity.
The visiting official signed a memorandum of understanding to promote trade between his province and Cambodia, Koy Kuong said.
Yaing Saing Koma, president of the Cambodian Centre for the Study and Development of Agriculture, said Cambodia lacked the milling capacity it needs to cash in on exports. Insufficient capital to purchase raw paddy from farmers was another deficiency, he added.