Demand for Cambodian yellow bananas has surged since China welcomed imports of this fruit last year. This Sunday, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon said advances in agricultural technology, processing, packaging and exporting sophistication have helped boost yellow banana exports, which increased significantly during the first five months of this year.
Sakhon made the statement during a visit to review the progress of Long Sreng International Co Ltd, a local company developing agro-industrial crops.
The company exported 22,762 tonnes of yellow bananas between January and May, he said. Of that, 8,348 tonnes were exported to China and 14,414 tonnes were shipped to Vietnam.
Sakhon said: “The ministry is trying to strengthen cooperation with development partners and the private sector to support investment in all agricultural product value chains from A to Z by increasing productivity, packaging, storing, processing, hygiene and safety in line with export market standards. I called on the company to maintain good cooperation with the General Department of Agriculture and all relevant actors in support and promotion of the export of Cambodian crops to international markets in the future.”
Long Sreng International chairman Heng Sreng said his company is investing in agro-industrial crops including yellow bananas, rubber, Pailin longan (Dimocarpus longan), durian, grapefruits and jackfruits in Kampong Cham province’s Stung Trang district. Currently, the company is cultivating 1,000ha of bananas, 78ha of grapefruit, 240ha of Pailin longan, 145ha of durian and 125ha of jackfruit.
“Each orchard is organised according to the proper technical standards, with irrigation and harvesting systems, packaging facilities, warehouses, seed production platforms, storage pools and water distribution systems,” he said.
Yellow bananas are a prime product for export because they are durable and don’t ripen quickly. One hectare, which can be harvested three times over two years, can produce 60-73 tonnes of bananas per year.