Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministry mulls museum to celebrate rubber legacy

Ministry mulls museum to celebrate rubber legacy

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Agriculture minister Dith Tina (centre) visits the Cambodian Rubber Research Institute in Tbong Khmum province on January 24. MAFF

Ministry mulls museum to celebrate rubber legacy

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries plans to establish a museum in Tbong Khmum province to promote the history of rubber cultivation and the industry in Cambodia.

During a visit to the Cambodian Rubber Research Institute on January 24, minister Dith Tina said one particular plantation in Tbong Khmum district’s Chiror 2 commune has 500 rubber trees that are more than 100 years old and should be included on the National Heritage List.

“We need to protect and preserve the rubber plantations here for our national heritage. In the future we will set up a museum to help further rubber research and development in Cambodia,” he said.

According to the ministry, the nearly 17,000ha Chub Rubber Plantation was established in 1922 by a local company named Compagnie du Cambodge, and of the trees planted in the beginning, a mere 477 remain, across just 14ha of land.

However, the minister urged expert officials to inspect and preserve those old rubber trees properly by labelling and numbering each tree because it is obviously of very hardy stock and could be useful for research and development and further seed production.

At the same time, he advised expert institutions and relevant units that are partners in this field to increase the production of new varieties of rubber trees for farmers and to pay attention to the experiments to improve liquid resin.

Men Sopheak, managing director of the Sopheak Nika Investment Group Co Ltd, one of the largest rubber growers and exporters in Cambodia, expressed his enthusiasm for the museum project and said that the rubber plantation is home to a number of good varieties.

“Chub Rubber Plantation was the first large rubber plantation in Cambodia. I support the transformation of this plantation into a rubber museum and a place for the research and development of rubber plantations in Cambodia,” he said.

According to Lim Khan Tiva, director of the Cambodian Rubber Research Institute, who is an expert on rubber breeding, clone selection and differentiated rubber production, Cambodian rubber has the potential to adapt to climate change with high yields and good growth in accordance with the environmental conditions of the country.

However, Sopheak said that the rubber varieties that are used in Cambodia are mostly the 20 varieties imported from other countries, especially Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

At present, Cambodia has 404,578ha dedicated to rubber production, with 315,332ha or 78 per cent mature and tapped for latex, according to a report from the agriculture ministry’s General Directorate of Rubber.

According to Tina, there remain “477 oldest” rubber trees which were planted in 1924.

“Those 99-year-old trees are our gene pool for [research and development] of new rubber variety. To date, we have two varieties that are promising in term of yield per tree,” he said in a January 25 tweet.


  • Ministry orders all schools, public and private, to close for SEA Games

    From April 20 to May 18, all public and private educational institutions will be closed to maintain order and support Cambodia's hosting of the 32nd SEA Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games, said a directive from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. Cambodia will host the

  • Almost 9K tourists see equinox sunrise at Angkor Wat

    Nearly 9,000 visitors – including 2,226 international tourists – gathered at Angkor Wat on March 21 to view the spring equinox sunrise, according to a senior official of the Siem Reap provinical tourism department. Ngov Seng Kak, director of the department, said a total of 8,726 people visited Angkor Wat to

  • Angkor Beer strengthens national pride with golden new look and fresher taste

    Angkor Beer – the "Gold of Angkor" – has a new look, one that is more stylish and carries a premium appeal, as well as a fresher taste and smoother flavour, making it the perfect choice for any gathering. Angkor Beer recently launched its new design, one

  • Water supply authority assures public shortages over early ‘24

    The Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) asked for understanding from Phnom Penh residents in some communes where water pressure is weak. They assured residents that all supply issues will be resolved by early 2024, but have suggested that residents use water sparingly in the meantime.

  • PM urges end to ‘baseless’ international Ream base accusations

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urges an end to “baseless” foreign accusations surrounding the development of the Kingdom’s Ream Naval Base, as the US has consistently suggested that the base is being expanded to accommodate a Chinese military presence. Hun Sen renewed his calls while

  • Khmer ballet documentary debuts April 1

    A new documentary, The Perfect Motion, or Tep Hattha in Khmer, will premiere to the public on April 1. The documentary film follows two intertwined storylines: the creation of a show called Metamorphosis by the late Princess Norodom Buppha Devi (her very last production) and the