Cambodia Rice Federation President, Song Saran, said the Kingdom’s rice sector continues to grow in the right direction towards the official goal of 1 million tonnes of sustainably produced rice annual exports by 2022.
“This year… has proved to be the sector’s toughest time yet. Our journey was impacted by challenges from the rice safeguard measures enforced by the EU since 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change – resulting in both drought and floods, as well as the shipping and freight crisis in the last quarter of 2020. Nevertheless, Cambodia remains one of the rice exporting nations proud to serve the world in providing food security in the region and the world,” said Saran.
“Given the recent headwinds, we still managed to do very well, exporting around 700,000 tonnes of rice valued at $470 million. Eighty percent of this was aromatic rice, which is the flagship and seal of Cambodian rice quality,” he added
The outlook is encouraging as Cambodian rice continues to make inroads into diverse markets, especially in China (including Hong Kong), Gabon and Australia, said Saran.
He added that these achievements are the result of the consistent amount of time and hard work that has been put in by the CRF’s board and members, as well as close cooperation with development partners such as the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Cambodia-Australia Agricultural Value Chain Programme (CAVAC), GIZ-German development agency, Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), Eurofin Lab, as well as inter-ministries, at the provincial and national level. Credit and thanks are owed especially to the Agriculture Rural Development Bank, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF).
Looking ahead to next year, he said the CRF is optimistic that the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines will save many lives and bring normality back and help kick-start an economic recovery. “Putting the negative effects of 2020 behind us, we shall continue our journey in promoting and exporting Cambodian high-quality rice.”
In addition, the CRF will formally launch its flagship premium aromatic rice Malys Angkor in China and Europe.
“We will also produce [in commercial quantities] our new Sen Kra Ob 01 (SKO 01) jasmine rice for availability in the market by mid-2021. We are very excited about SKO 01 because it is a very high quality, flavoursome, soft and delicious rice that we are sure will be welcomed by the market. The product is the result of CARDI’s research and development in cooperation with CAVAC and the CRF since 2018,” he added
Cambodia is expected to export around 750,000 tonnes of milled rice by the end of the year, according to the CRF. However, according to MAFF, rice exports from Cambodia in the first 11 months of the year rose 16.9 percent, reaching 601,045 tonnes compared with the same period last year. He added that more than 481,000 tonnes of the rice exports were of the fragrant variety and 113,703 tonnes were white rice varieties, while around 6,151 tonnes were parboiled rice.
This article was first published in Khmer Times. All contents and images are copyright to their respective owners and sources.