A group sponsored by the Australian government has compiled a list of nine valuable Cambodian cultures. The Cambodia-Australia Agricultural Value Chain (CAVAC) study identified mangoes, lentils, cashews, peppers, sweet potatoes, avocados, sesame, palm sugar and dried bananas as main products.
The list is aimed at the public, farmers, processors and those with interests in the Cambodian agricultural sector. Trade Minister Pan Sorasak announced the crème de la crème in a video ceremony.
The government hopes to increase demand in key markets such as Australia, New Zealand, Europe, China and ASEAN and find new buyers elsewhere. It aims to increase environmentally friendly trade to support its policy of poverty reduction and economic development.
CAVAC’s work to make Cambodian agriculture more competitive includes the use of cashless payments for irrigation fees and the promotion of processing by-products such as biochar, which is produced by burning organics without oxygen. at high temperatures to be mixed with the soil. CAVAC also promotes low-cost no-till technology and helps the public and private sectors work together on irrigation projects. During the ceremony, Sorasak presented the achievements of the Ministry of Commerce, including the signing of free trade agreements with China and South Korea, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP), which is expected to enter into force next year creating the world’s largest trade bloc and implementing Cambodia’s Industrial Development Policy 2015-2025, which aims to promote the country’s industrial development to help maintain a sustainable and inclusive high economic standard growth through economic diversification, strengthening competitiveness and promoting productivity.
The free trade agreement with China has so far allowed the direct export of Cambodian mangoes and bananas rather than sending them via Vietnam or Thailand and Cambodia is hoping to add the longan Pailin to the list.
Banana exports to China jumped 77 percent in the first six months of the year, slowing slightly to a 61 percent increase in the year through July from a year earlier . China bought 40 percent of Cambodia’s banana exports. Last year, the Kingdom exported over 300,000 tonnes of fresh bananas to the world.
Fresh mango shipments to all of Cambodia’s export markets increased 247 percent in the first seven months of the year to 160,000 tonnes.
Australian Ambassador Pablo Kang said the agricultural sector provided Cambodia with the stability it badly needed during the coronavirus pandemic and was at the center of the economic recovery.
“The CAVAC study on Cambodia’s high value-added agricultural products is a new guide for future growth by encouraging the industry to diversify its export supply chain into crops,” he said. .
Agriculture accounts for about 22 percent of Cambodia’s gross domestic product. The sector also provides jobs with at least 65 percent of the country’s population working in the industry.