This season’s Kampot pepper production is expected to reach 27 tonnes, up from 21 tonnes last year thanks to a larger area of harvested land.
But Nguon Lay, president of the Kampot Pepper Association, said on Sunday that despite the increase, adverse weather conditions meant the estimate was still below farmers’ expectations.
“The weather was hot and dry for about five months consistently – that harmed the crop of many farmers.” Lay said.
Harvest season runs from March to early June, with 16 hectares to be harvested this year.
Kampot pepper has the WTO’s geographical indication (GI) status linking the quality of the product to its origin. Exports and prices have been on the rise since receiving the status in 2010.
The total cultivated area of GI Kampot pepper reached 90 hectares this year, twice that of 2013 – but it will still be years before many of these plants mature and are ready for harvest.
Him Anna, a pepper farmer in Kampot, told the Post that she had exported 3 tonnes of pepper this year and the market was hungry for more.
“There is huge demand in the market with a very good price, but until now we still have a problem with supply.”