Cambodia exported nearly six million tonnes of agricultural products in the first nine months of this year, a year-on-year surge of more than 88 per cent, according to Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon.

Citing figures from the National Phytosanitary Database compiled by the General Directorate of Agriculture, the minister said 5,932,923.43 tonnes of agricultural products were shipped to 68 countries and territories, rising by 2,785,231.57 tonnes or 88.48 per cent year-on-year.

Based on exporters’ invoices, the exports over the period were valued to the tune of over $3.48977 billion, with milled rice accounting for $349.92 million, paddy $428.95 million and non-rice agricultural products $2.71090 billion.

The Cambodia Rice Federation pointed out that milled rice exports over January-September decreased by 15.97 per cent year-on-year by volume, attributing the decline to a double whammy of stratospheric transportation prices and a shortage of 20-foot containers to ship the staple crop.

Non-milled-rice agricultural exports over the period, on the other hand, increased by 107.69 per cent year-on-year, the federation said.

Hun Lak, director of Longmate Agriculture Co Ltd, which invests in bananas and other agricultural products, told The Post that improved access to international markets, especially China, has been accompanied by steadily rising investment trends in Cambodian agriculture, more so in the last two-to-three years.

"Good market conditions and favourable investment laws will accelerate the cultivation and export of Cambodian products down the line," he said.

Tbong Khmum provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries director Heng Piseth previously told The Post that the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries' policies geared towards the promotion and enhancement of local production capacity has led to a steady increase in agricultural cultivation and investment.

Enhancing domestic production capacity not only creates new jobs for locals and provides household income, but can also reduce Cambodia's imports and increase export capacity, he said.

"With better market access and more cultivation, exports increase accordingly. A range of Cambodian agricultural products are in high demand on the international market," Piseth said.

The Kingdom’s main agricultural exports were classified as paddy and milled rice, rubber, cashew nuts, fresh and dried mangoes, mango syrup, yellow bananas, peppercorn, cassava, corn, soybeans and pomelos.

Last year, Cambodia exported $4.37 billion worth of agricultural products, up $500 million from 2019, the ministry reported.