CHINA National Cereal, Oil and Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO) are the latest Mainland Chinese Company to sign a deal to export Cambodian rice. The deal inked with Cambodia’s Angkor Rice provides for exports of 1,000 tonnes of rice. COFCO is one of a number of Chinese companies that have signed similar deals with their Cambodian counterparts, but direct rice exports to China are yet to begin in earnest. Cambodia’s rice exports are awaiting approval from Chinese inspectors, experts say. A protocol signed between the two countries in October last year states that rice samples must be free of agricultural pests that experts say are endemic in Cambodian rice fields.
“The Chinese are very strict on quality,” Phou Puy, president of the Federation of Rice Millers Associations and the Baitong Rice Export Company, said. “So far, we haven't received any updated information on the inspections from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. But I know their delegation will come to test our quality soon.” Baitong Rice Export, which signed a MoU with a Chinese company late last year, plans to export 10,000 tonnes of rice a year to China, beginning next year. Phou Puy said certification from the People’s Republic was not far off.