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Safe foods stores keep prices steady amid lockdown

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A farmer harvests leafy green vegetables to sell to a "safe vegetable" market. Facebook

Safe foods stores keep prices steady amid lockdown

A number of safe-agricultural-product specialist stores in Phnom Penh have expressed their commitment to maintain the prices of their commodities and contribute to the government's efforts to improve people's livelihoods during the ongoing two-week coronavirus lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Takhmao town in Kandal province.

“Safe agricultural products” are those with reduced dependence on chemicals and free of microbiological hazards.

Kan Panharith, production manager at local agribusiness Davane Plc, which specialises in agricultural value chains and markets for food safety, told The Post that all prices at his store remain at pre-lockdown levels, save for a handful of fish and vegetables he said saw an acceptable, slight uptick.

"We’ve kept prices at how they were, such as those of meats [mostly pork and beef]. Our supplier does not raise their prices. But some kinds of fish and three types of vegetables showed a moderate increase – not dramatically, it is tolerable," he said.

At the same time, the Khmer Safety Vegetables store, which is supported by the state-owned Agricultural and Rural Development Bank of Cambodia (ARDB), made a similar commitment on April 18.

None of its vegetables, fruits, spices or other products have risen in price since the lockdown was announced on April 14, the store claimed in a Facebook post.

Khmer Safety Vegetables noted that it is located in southeastern Phnom Penh along National Road 1 in Prek Eang commune’s Veal Sbov village in Chbar Ampov district.

However, Davane’s Panharith said the lockdown had hampered the transport of goods, as the business awaits a travel permit.

He said: "Transport has gotten quite onerous, we’re only allowed to move within the area around the shop and the traffic light.

"We are requesting a permit from the [Executive Committee to Manage and Lead the implementation of the Lockdown] to access lockdown-restricted areas so that our team and our business can operate on a larger scale.”