Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Dith Tina – during the inauguration of a 100-tonne rice paddy warehouse in Tbong Khmum province’s Dambae district – recommended that farmers use genetically pure rice seed varieties providing greater yields to boost buyer confidence and ensure higher prices.

The ceremony, held under the ministry’s Climate-Friendly Agribusiness Value Chains Sector Project (CFAVC) in the commune’s Trapeang Russey village on July 5, also marked ground being broken on a 9,774m road in the Dambea Agricultural Cooperative.

At the ceremony, Tina also said that the glow of peace had enabled the government to take care of the people, allowing them to enjoy better standards of living in a sustainable economy.

“The warehouse being officially inaugurated has the capacity to store up to 100 tonnes of rice, and makes it possible to sell dried rice, which carries higher prices than the non-dried variety.

“And ground is also being broken on the construction of a road that will ensure the quicker transportation of people and agricultural products, which will play a significant role in increasing agricultural product value,” Tina said.

The minister also encouraged farmers to use pure, high-yield and marketable rice seed varieties that, by instilling buyers with greater confidence, could be sold at higher prices.

Muong Laingay, a rice technical expert at Gret Cambodia, an international development NGO, expressed his support for the use of genetically pure rice seed varieties, saying that doing so would help farmers get around five to 20 per cent higher yields.

“Using pure varieties will result in the rice growing equally until harvest and reduced grass in the rice paddy, while ensuring the plants grow well and strong.

“The quality of the grain is also higher and the breakage of the grain is less, making it easier to export and get a higher market value,” he said.

He also requested that the relevant institutions at all levels, especially local authorities, increase awareness among farmers on the benefits of using pure rice seeds.

According to a June 8 report by the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF), the Kingdom’s apex rice body industry, in the first five months of 2023, the country exported 278,184 tonnes of milled rice worth $191.64 million via 48 exporters to 49 destinations and 2,142,483 tonnes of paddy to the tune of $545.26 million.

The same report noted that the export of fragrant rice varieties made up 83.49 per cent of exports, with white rice accounting for 10.87 per cent, parboiled rice 3.71 per cent and organic rice 1.93 per cent.

Regarding the use of pure rice seeds, Tina said the government in the next mandate will base expert agricultural officials in communes to assist with agricultural techniques.

The experts will advise on resolving the agricultural challenges encountered to ensure lower costs, higher profits, greater efficiency and economic sustainability.