The Kingdom’s cassava exports soared 94 per cent year-on-year in the first nine months of 2011, despite the recent flood devastation the agriculture sector has experienced, according to Ministry of Commerce figures. The statistics showed that Cambodia’s export of dry and fresh cassava hit about 22,652 tonnes from January to September, compared to 11,656 tonnes in the same period last year.
The increase was due to growing demand from international markets for the versatile shrub, Ministry of Commerce’s Secretary of State Chan Tharo said. He added that the increased production of cassava was due to the growing price in the last year. Chinese agricultural firm China National Food Industry (Group) Corp recently signed an agreement with local company Ly Ye Rubber Co Ltd to purchase 1 million tonnes of dry cassava to export back to China.
Khan Samban, director of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries’ Department of Industrial Crops told the Post yesterday that Cambodia could export cassava direct to China’s market by the end of the year. “With this agreement in place and once enough cassava is produced, we can then begin to export directly to China,” he said, adding that the majority of exports are to Thailand and Vietnam.With the majority of cassava cultivated on higher ground, production was barely affected by the recent floods, Khan Samban said.
Sorm Yin, president of Malai Trading in Malai district, Banteay Meanchy province, said that while some farms were affected by flooding, his regional exports increased.
“A survey undertaken in the district showed that around 20 per cent of farms were damaged,” he said, adding that one tonne of fresh cassava currently cost about US$95.
Source : The Phnom Penh Post