Agricultural exports to China in the 14 quarters to June 30 amounted to 2.4 million tonnes, worth $1.942 billion, said a Chinese embassy report citing Cambodian agriculture ministry data, as the government’s new policies to boost productivity in the field and turn the Kingdom into a major exporter in the sector show positive results.
The embassy listed fresh bananas; milled rice; dried cassava, tapioca starch and cassava pulp; dried and fresh mangoes; cashew nuts; and cocoa powder as prime Cambodian agricultural exports to China over the 1,277-day period.
Speaking to The Post on July 28, Hun Lak, Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) board chairman and CEO of Rich Farm Asia Ltd, a company that grows and exports bananas and mangoes, emphasised the sheer size of the Chinese market and its importance as a buyer of Cambodian agricultural products.
This is due to, inter alia, China’s proximity to Cambodia compared to other big buyers such as the EU and US, as well as the “good” Sino-Cambodian relations in “all areas”, notably as exemplified by the bilateral and multilateral trade pacts in addition to the phytosanitary agreements shared between them, he explained.
“In the last decade, especially in the last two or three years, Cambodia’s agricultural exports to international markets have increased for all destinations, especially China,” Lak said.
He added that the launch of new government strategies has, to a meaningful extent, encouraged growers and investors to dip their feet in the market. “The diversification of cultivation, seed production, processing and marketing is also contributing significantly to the growth process of the agricultural sector in Cambodia,” he said.
However, Lak pointed out, the agricultural sector is confronted with two major challenges: high production costs and a lack of infrastructure, including irrigation and transportation systems, which undermines the Kingdom’s competitiveness on the global market.
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Author: Hin Pisei
Source: The Phnom Penh post
Publication date: 28 July 2022