Cambodia generated $3,692,183,189.37 from the export of 6.3 million tonnes of agricultural products to 68 international markets in the first 10 months of 2021, according to data published by Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon.
These exclude fisheries and wildlife products, wood, natural and other forms of rubber, the minister noted.
Milled rice exports amounted to $392,984,326, paddy clocked in at $465,498,250 and other agricultural products were to the tune of $2,833,700,613.37.
“[In terms of tonnage,] total agricultural exports in the first 10 months of 2021 increased by 87.53 per cent, of which non-milled-rice agricultural products climbed 106.62 per cent.
“[However,] milled rice exports decreased 14.20 per cent because the cost of transport to destinations has doubled, and there is a shortage of 20-foot containers to carry the milled rice for export,” Sakhon said.
Kampong Chhnang provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries director Ngin Hun told The Post that agricultural activity in his province and across the country has been steadily increasing, following a rise in abandoned farmland.
The current growth momentum in agricultural production may be due to a number of factors, such as the introduction of conducive government policies and an ongoing push by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to ensure food security and self-sufficiency, and a smooth flow of exports, he said.
“In terms of cultivation area, there has not been much of an increase, but the arrangement of the irrigation system, which provides favourable conditions for cultivation over several cycles each year, has resulted in higher yields.
“This is why Cambodia can produce even greater than before and have more opportunities to export to foreign markets,” he added.
The current growth in agricultural products has also been influenced by a number of other factors, such as the education
and awareness of farmers about the benefits of community-based cluster production, access to a range of markets, and copious inflows of private sector investment, according to Hun.
Ke Monthivuth, the director of the ministry’s Department of Plant Protection and Phytosanitary Office, said that the growth in domestic demand and uptick in exports has underpinned steady growth in recent years.
This is especially true after the government and ministry rolled out a variety of strategies to promote cultivation and improve quality, he said.
He added that there has been great progress in research into high-yielding cultivars and improvements in compliance with international quality and phytosanitary standards, especially for fruit exports such as mangoes and bananas.
“We will see more growth in the future because in addition to the protocol being implemented in some countries now, we have also set up the infrastructure, as well as phytosanitary, sanitation and packaging standards,” Monthivuth said.
Last year, Cambodia exported $4.37 billion worth of agricultural products, up $500 million from 2019, the ministry reported.