Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Certified chemical-free vegetables hit shelves

Certified chemical-free vegetables hit shelves

Certified chemical-free vegetables hit shelves

A child standing behind a basket of chemical-free eggplants produced by farmers in Svay Rieng province. Photograph: Mao Mithona/Phnom Penh Post

In May, the first group of vegetable producers in Cambodia was certified on the basis of COrAA’s “Standards for Chemical-free Crop Production”.

The 72 farmers, belonging to the Women Chemical-free vegetable-producing group of the Vegetable Supply Co-operative in Svay Rieng, have been producing healthy vegetables for several years. But the certification gives them a boost in marketing as they now sell also more vegetables in Phnom Penh.

During recent years the farmers have been supported by the Japanese NGO International Volunteers of Yamagata (IVY) and the Provincial Department of Agriculture in Svay Rieng.

For many vegetable growers, the requirements for chemical-free stand-ard are easier to follow than those of common organic standards. The aim is to encourage vegetable producers to convert to organic production and give consumers an alternative to conventional produce.

Organic standards require a transition of at least two years, but chemical-free standards essentially demand that the producer does not apply synthetic fertilisers and pesticides. The use of commercially available organic fertilisers is possible.

COrAA had observed that consumers are usually left in the dark with regard to the source and the safety of vegetables, especially because initial studies on pesticide residues in market vegetables indicate some kind of vegetables may pose a risk to the health of consumers as many farmers apply pesticides without adequate knowledge.

For many years the production of organic and chemical-free produce was chiefly in the hands of small-scale producers, commonly cultivating just a few hundred square metres. In view of the increasing demand, several commercial farms are currently establishing the cultivation of organic vegetables on a larger scale. Two of these farms are now certified as producers of chemical-free vegetables.


  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • Sam Rainsy, government group set to clash at IPU Geneva meet?

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy has been invited to speak at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, according to a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker. A government delegation is also set to attend the meeting, a National Assembly press release