The Cambodian Rice Federation (CRF) has played an essential role in the rice sector by working closely with the Ministry of Commerce, Pan Sorasak, Minister of Commerce, said in the work review ceremony of 2021 and the direction of the CRF’s Action Plan for 2022.
The minister said, “The Green Trade Company of the Ministry of Commerce has contributed significantly to stabilising rice prices in domestic markets, which faced lockdown during the severe spread of Covid 19. It has also contributed to the facilitation of exports.
“The Ministry of Commerce always paid close attention to the rice sector and strived to find ways to help the industry become more competitive. In 2020 and 2021, the ministry organised an in-depth study on the cost of production in rice export under the cooperation and financial assistance of the Cambodian Agricultural Chain Program by Australia (CAVAC). This study will be necessary for developing strategies and incentive plans to make our Cambodian rice sector more competitive.”
“In addition, at the request of the CRF in 2021, the ministry also sought to help the Cambodian rice sector. The Ministry of Economic and Finance has also been requested to support the rice sector through tax incentives. It sought income tax exemption for rice exporters and rice mills for five years.”
He said the government took efforts to open up markets for rice, and processed products sourced from rice have been active. “It is being done by including these items in the list of goods, free trade agreements and bilateral trade negotiations, especially with China, a growing market for Cambodia’s rice exports. It accounted for up to 50 per cent of total exports in 2021 and is likely to increase further in 2022. The increase is due to the firm commitment from China by signing the sixth MoU for the export of 400,000 tonnes,” the minister added.
He stressed that the Ministry of Commerce considers rice exports and strives to help small-scale farmers. It promotes agricultural contracts between farmers and small-scale mills through AIMs. Besides, they are also financially supported by the government and IFAD.
The minister also submitted recommendations to the CRF to better plan and implement the action plan. Moreover, CRF is considering consolidating export consortiums for large, high-volume markets that the Ministry of Commerce has supported.
Meanwhile, CRF continues to work with international partner organisations and relevant institutions to develop collective brands, geographical marks and common brands on various types of rice. Furthermore, CRF discusses with the Association of Federation of ASEAN countries to consider the establishment of an Asean Rice Federation.
This article was first published in Khmer Times. All contents and images are copyright to their respective owners and sources.