Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Makro stocks Koh Kong mussels

Makro stocks Koh Kong mussels

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Sna Dai Me executive director Phal Chakrya (left) and environment ministry secretary of state Neth Pheaktra at the event on Wednesday. ENVIRONMENT MINISTRY

Makro stocks Koh Kong mussels

Koh Kong blue mussels are now available at Makro Supermarket in western Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district, after a deal was struck with local communities in an effort to boost incomes and support the conservation of mangroves, according to a senior Ministry of Environment official.

Mangrove forests provide support in coastal saline or brackish waters for filter-feeders such as blue mussels (Mytilus edulis), which are often found clumped together on tree roots.

At a promotional event at the wholesale warehouse on September 22, ministry secretary of state Neth Pheaktra lauded the move as the next step in the expansion of the domestic market for the edible bivalve molluscs, and as part of broader efforts of the ministry’s General Department of Local Communities to improve the livelihoods and family economies in communities within the Kingdom’s protected areas.

“The blue mussels are local, abundant in the Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuary, Koh Kong province and a symbol of sustainable natural resources that stems from the harmony of economic activity and conservation,” he said.

And now the yields of mangrove conservation “have begun establishing a presence at Makro, with [the molluscs] added as a new option for consumers who love seafood”, he said.

He thanked Makro and Sna Dai Me – an agricultural cooperative based in Chroy Changvar district’s Prek Leap commune of northeastern Phnom Penh – for working with the ministry to stock blue mussels.

“This is a display of marketing initiatives for local products, and also part of marine conservation, in particular the protection of mangrove forests in Koh Kong province, which is an important source of food security for people in the area,” Pheaktra said.

Makro, in collaboration with the ministry’s Cambodian Sustainable Landscape and Ecotourism Project (CSLEP), have organised a promotional discount for the mussels until October 5 at its Phnom Penh and Siem Reap outlets.

The communities that raise the medium-sized marine molluscs in Peam Krasop can supply 3,210 tonnes of mussels per season, usually from November-March but potentially until slightly later if demand so dictates.

Sna Dai Me executive director Phal Chakrya expects Makro’s move to broaden the range of opportunities for Koh Kong blue mussels, highlighting the historically diminutive scale of their market.

“I hope that Cambodians on the whole will support us in propping up local products and also helping build livelihoods in the communities that produce this type of mussel. From now on, Cambodians will be able buy the mussels at any supermarket in any province or town because they’ll be widely sold,” she said with a dose of optimism.

Ministry director-general for Local Communities Khieu Borin affirmed that there are three mussel-raising communities in Peam Krasop, stressing that the value chain has great potential for future development.

He said the CSLEP supports the creation and promotion of domestic markets for high-quality local products that could compete with imported merchandise in the supermarket and upscale-hotel arenas, especially in the capital.

“To achieve these goals, the CSLEP project will work with development partners and the private sector to create a conducive environment for investments in conservation-friendly economic activities,” he said, stressing that developing policy on mussel exports is also a priority.

“The project is collaborating with Sna Dai Me and Makro Cambodia to arrange for the processing of quality and hygienic products to supply the Cambodian market, as well as to achieve a wider reach among Cambodians,” Borin said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Final verdicts for Khmer Rouge leaders ‘vital’ for next generation

    Nearly a decade after the commencement of Case 002/02 against Khieu Samphan back in 2014, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) is now set to deliver its final verdict for the former Khmer Rouge head of state. The Supreme Court Chamber of the ECCC,

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Deaths due to ‘lifestyle’ diseases rise in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Health has called on people to pay closer attention to their health to protect themselves from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which it said have caused high rates of deaths in the country. Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the call at a