Cambodian banks aim to ride agriculture boom

Cambodian banks are hoping that a surge in agricultural investment will bring in the customers they need to take out loans and put to work the cash flooding into the frontier market’s overcrowded banking system.

Cambodia, which is due to open a stock exchange this year, is attracting investment to rural areas as it seeks to move from exporting primary crops to milling rice and packaging seafood to sell abroad.

Foreign donors have vastly expanded rural road networks and firms from Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and beyond are scrambling to buy land and expand rubber and rice plantations. But while the streets of Phnom Penh are cluttered with bank branches and cash machines, banks have ignored rural areas. Read more of this post

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KOGID begins rice shipments to United Arab Emirates

KOGID Cambodia’s first rice shipments to the Middle East were part of an expansion into new markets and agricultural products, company officials said yesterday. 

The South Korean-owned firm this month sent 300 tonnes of rice to United Arab Emirates buyers, and planned to add Russia to its list of destinations next year, KOGID Cambodia sales and marketing manager Seng Sokhom said.

Increased demand from international markets had led to shipments to a wider array of markets such as the UAE, he said. Read more of this post

Price and export of corn rising

International demand for animal feed is pushing corn prices higher, fuelling the growth of the industry in western Cambodia.

Corn prices have increased by some 25 percent year on year, leading to an increase in land being planted, Battambang province farmers said. Read more of this post

Vietnamese trade with Cambodia jumps 41%

The trade value between Viet Nam and Cambodia in the first five months rose by 41% to more than US$1 billion, the Viet Nam Trade Office in Phnom Penh said.

Viet Nam’s exports were worth $891 million, an increase of 139 per cent, while Cambodia’s exports rose by just 3.2 per cent to $124 million. Read more of this post

Cambodian farmers flock to cassava

Cassava farming is quickly expanding in Cambodia, especially in Battambang province as profit margins on the crop continue to rise, local media reported on Friday, citing industry experts and local farmers.

Prices for the plant, which is edible and is used in ethanol production, have risen considerably, fetching more than other cash crops such as cotton that are being grown in the province, Yang Saing Koma, president of Center for Study and Development in  Agriculture was quoted as saying.

“Many people are now investing in cassava, due to the high prices. They also expect to gain more profit from cassava, as yields are more frequent,” the Phnom Penh Post quoted Yang as saying. Read more of this post

Bilateral Vietnam trade up with increasing imports

Cambodia’s bilateral trade with Vietnam has increased by 41 percent to the end of May compared to the period last year, according to figures from the Vietnam Trade Office in Phnom Penh.

The growth comes due to the increased presence of Vietnamese investors in the Kingdom, said Tran Tu, a trade attaché at the trade office.

“Now they are carrying out their investments, so they need to import raw materials and machinery in order to do business here. That’s why our exports to Cambodia rose dramatically,” he said.

Total bilateral trade for the first five months reached just over US$1 billion, a jump from $718 million in the same period last year, according to the Vietnam Trade Office in Phnom Penh.  Read more of this post

Rice millers get first export orders from China

Cambodia’s largest rice exporters say they have begun securing their first orders from Chinese buyers, with shipments slated for later this year. 

Loran Import Export Company has secured contracts to export 240 tonnes of fragrant rice at US$890 in October, its President Lim Bun Heng said.

“Previously the company has never exported rice to China – only to European and African markets,” he said.

However, with its expanding population, he reckons China will become an important market for Cambodia’s rice exporters in the future.

“I think China will be a big market in the future, because this country has a large number of people, and increasing demand for rice,” he said. Read more of this post

Cambodian economy involved in the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)

Cambodia’s environment minister said his country’s green growth plan is making fine progress in its implementation thanks to the help of Korea and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).

Minister Mok Mareth said activities with GGGI “strengthened environmental cooperation while pursuing sustainable economic growth, not only in Cambodia but also on a regional and a global scale to result in green growth through the exchange of ideas and experiences.” Read more of this post

Fallout from deforestation

In a 2010 report to the international Convention on Biological Diversity, Cambodia’s Ministry of the Environment presented a portrait of national biodiversity to make any taxonomist drool: 123 mammal species, 88 reptile species, 545 bird species, and more than 2,000 species of vascular plants. Further study has the potential to significantly increase these numbers.  

But as the impressive extent of Cambodian biodiversity slowly comes to light, it is also coming under increasing threat.   

Over the past decade, land concessions and luxury timber harvesting have reduced primary forest cover by 13,000 hectares, or 3.42 percent each year in Cambodia, according to a report released early this month by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation and the International Tropical Timber Organisation.  Read more of this post

Boosting rice yields (+ link to illustrative movie)

SRI Farming in Cambodia: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDQbdMOF0iU

Cambodia’s average rice yields sit below most regional neighbours, though experts say improved farming methods would assist with boosting harvests of the staple crop. 

The Centre for Study and Development in Agriculture introduced the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) growing methods to Cambodia in 2000 with the aim of increasing productivity of farmland, though some say take-up across the Kingdom has been slow.  Read more of this post