Cambodia will seize the opportunity to export vegetables to EU markets while its neighbors are banned from exporting vegetables to EU markets, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries senior official Ngin Chhay said on Wednesday.
Chhay, the director-general of the General Directorate of Agriculture, told a press conference at the Council of Ministers that the Kingdom’s exports to the EU would fare better while Vietnam and Thailand have “red cards” temporarily blocking their vegetables. He noted that Cambodian vegetable exports to EU markets remain relatively small, however.
Due to the actions of some unscrupulous growers and exporters, he said, the EU issued the Kingdom a “yellow card” six years ago as a warning that its vegetables did not comply with its sanitation and phytosanitary standards. With this “yellow card” rescinded, Cambodia can now export vegetables to the EU smoothly, he said.
“It took me six years to work out a fix to the ‘yellow card’ issue and it was pulled out two months ago, but Vietnam and Thailand still have a ‘red card’, as I know they don’t export fresh vegetables to Europe. I would like to see a thumbs up from foreign markets for our products now that we are famous and our vegetables are known to be all-organic and produced naturally. Nowadays we have no more ‘yellow cards’, which is good news for farmers and investors who want to grow vegetables to export to the EU. We can export now,” said Chhay.
Meanwhile, he said, the ministry continues to promote vegetable farming in line with Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) guidelines. It also encourages farmers to build net houses and illustrates proper fertiliser use.
As reported on phnompenhpost.com, Cambodia exported about 39 tonnes of vegetables in the first three months of the year to France, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands, the ministry said in a report.