China increases imports from Cambodia

China will increase its agricultural imports from Cambodia to include bananas, mango and soybeans, having already signed a food safety and health protocol for the import of corn last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Agriculture Minister Ouk Rabun, speaking at an annual review meeting on last Wednesday, said China, after signing a Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) protocol for corn, was exploring the possibility of importing other agricultural products, beyond the rice and cassava it already imports.

“The export of agricultural products to China will increase more because, besides rice and cassava, both parties have already agreed on a SPS protocol for corn to be exported to China and are checking the possibilities of exporting 100 per cent broken rice, soybean, mangos and banana,” he said.

“The ministry is also preparing a [SPS] protocol for mangos to be exported to [South] Korea too,” Rabun added.

Srey Chanthy, independent economic analyst, said increased demand from the Chinese market coupled with sound agricultural policies can help address issues like lack of sustainable supply and low productivity among Cambodia’s farmers.

Figures from the Ministry of Commerce, show that, last year, the export of unprocessed agricultural products such as rubber, cashew nuts, corn, from Cambodia to Vietnam totalled about $50 million.

According to the recently published annual report for 2014-2015 of the Ministry of Agriculture, agricultural product exports to China increased sharply last year. Cassava exports to China doubled to 119,600 tonnes from the 55,200 tonnes exported in 2013, while rice export accounted for a third of the 150,000 tonnes exported in the first three months of 2015.

Source: phnompenhpost.com

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