Supermarket Makro has unveiled a new “Blue Mussel” counter at their store in partnership with Koh Kong farmers as part of the Cambodia Sustainable Landscape and Ecotourism Project (CSLEP).
The blue mussel is a type of seafood that many people don’t know anything about, don’t know how to eat, where to buy and what kind of food to make with it. But with 2,000 tonnes being produced in Cambodia in 2018 and a projected 3,210 tonnes for next year, it is a product and food to be made aware of.
The blue mussel, also known as the common mussel, is a medium-sized edible marine bivalve mollusc in the family Mytilidae, the mussels. Blue mussels are subject to commercial use and intensive aquaculture. A species with a large range, empty shells are commonly found on beaches around the world.
Yesterday at Makro Market in Sen Sok district opened its first sales counter for blue mussels. The event was presided over by Environment Ministry Secretary of State Neth Pheaktra and Khieu Borin CSLEP, project director, along with Khin Mengkheang CSLEP project manager.
Speaking at the event Pheaktra said: “The promotion of Koh Kong blue mussels at Makro Market serves the purpose of gaining support from restaurant owners, hotels and the general public. Furthermore, it encourages community members to participate in outreach activities and to learn more about product development and food processing.”
Borin said at the event “CSLEP is assisting in the promotion and development of a local market for high-quality products that can compete with imported products in the supply of supermarkets and luxury hotels in Cambodia.
To accomplish these objectives, CSLEP will collaborate with development partners and the private sector to foster investment in conservation-friendly economic activities.”
Koh Kong as a province is rich in marine resources, but with lack of education on these resources. This leaves many families without income. Families in Peam Krasop have been trying to raise blue mussels to increase family income. Until the start of 2012, blue mussel farming was in trouble, with most dying or having no market in Cambodia.
CSLEP has been involved in the project and set out a plan to increase more than 20 percent of the total value of sale of blue mussels to benefit the farmers, to build market linkages between community-protected areas (CPA) and blue mussel producers with the private sector to ensure fair pricing and a sustainable business, to conduct awareness raising workshops and/or study tours to enable producers to observe the potential benefits of improved mussel production to selected CPA communities, to provide capacity building and technical support on mussel “fattening” to participating households along with capacity-building on business skills and management of producer groups.
This comes as a few days ago Khmer Times published a story on a new $54 million World Bank and CSLEP project to boost eco-tourism in the Kingdom that represents the World Bank’s largest tourism investment ever seen in Cambodia.
This article was first published in Khmer Times. All contents and images are copyright to their respective owners and sources.