Climate change considered as flooding hits Cambodia

The wet season had come and gone with almost no rain.  Despite the best efforts of the farmers from Tralach commune, in Takeo province’s Traing district, widespread crop failures two years ago brought the community to the economic, and dietary, brink.

Rice paddies were parched beyond salvaging, said Oxfam spokesperson Brian Lund in a recent interview, adding that the dried mud was nearly too hot to stand on.

“Usually [the farmers] harvest the rice barefoot, but that year, for the first time, they had to wear shoes,” he said.

This week, farmers in Kratie province are facing the opposite problem. Read more of this post

cassava export: partnership with chinese company

China National Food Industry Group yesterday signed an agreement with Cambodian agricultural firm Ly Ye Rubber Company, aiming to import large quantities of cassava from Cambodia. Cai Yong Feng, chairman of the Chinese firm, said cassava is a quickly expanding industry in Cambodia. ‘If the dry cassava from Cambodia has high enough quality standards for the Chinese market then we will buy other products,’ he said.

Source: Phnom Penh Post

Vietnamese rice exporter face challenges from foreigners in Cambodia

Vietnamese rice exporters will face tough competition from foreign countries looking to exploit advantages that Cambodia presents as a beneficiary of the the EBA (Everything But Arms) initiative, says an Econet report.

Under the EBA, Cambodia, as a least-developed-country, enjoys zero tariffs and no quotas for exporting its farm produce, especially rice, to the EU. Read more of this post

Natural rubber Price hike continues

The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) has estimated total world natural rubber (NR) production this year to be at 9.95 million tonnes, up by 4.9% from 9.49 million tonnes last year.

In spite of the higher forecast, the association said NR supply was seen moving up slowly over the past quarters, thus triggering continued recovery in rubber prices.

“The slow growth in supply, high oil price and strengthening of the baht, rupiah and ringgit can help NR prices to stay strong but the short-term outlook is clouded by uncertainties from the debt crisis in the United States and the eurozone,” said the ANRPC in its latest July report.

Members of ANRPC Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Vietnam, China, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Cambodia controlled about 92% of the commodity’s global supply. Read more of this post

More competition from Thai rice millers

Thai government proposals to pay above market prices to rice farmers could complicate Cambodia’s goal of becoming a major milled rice exporter, according to industry insiders.

Pheu Thai party leader Yingluck Shinawatra has announced plans to buy rough rice for a guaranteed price of 15,000 baht (US$505) a tonne, more than 50 percent above current rates. Read more of this post

PetroVietnam Fertiliser and Chemicals Co. launch its branch in Cambodia

PetroVietnam Fertiliser and Chemicals Joint Stock Company, one of the largest firms traded on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, has officially launched its first Cambodian branch. The company had been operating a representative office in the Kingdom since last May, but aimed to expand its services to domestic farmers with the new branch. Read more of this post

Microfinance up on agriculture advance

The Kingdom’s growing agricultural sector is leading to more loans and deposits at microfinance institutions.

The small-scale lenders also credit the boost in Cambodia’s agro-industry for declining non-performing loans rates.

“We see that political stability and our economy are offering a strong climate for opening businesses or enlarging the businesses, leading to more demand for loans,” said Sathapana Microfinance Chief Executive Officer Bun Mony. “We don’t have any major challenges, as our performance has improved after being hard hit by the crisis.”

The MFI’s lending totalled $51 million to 4,900 borrowers at the end of June, whiles its NPL rate declined to 0.7 percent from 0.9 percent at the end of December 2010. Read more of this post

Coffee development in Cambodia

Coffee plantations in Cambodia’s northeast are struggling to keep up with rising international demand for the increasingly lucrative beans, farmers and traders said.

Orders for Cambodian-grown coffee beans from countries such as Japan and Korea as well as domestic demand has increased rapidly, while prices have jumped nearly 40 percent since 2009, traders said. 

Higher prices are ushering more farmers into the market, but supply from Mondulkiri province’s roughly 30 hectares of coffee plantation is falling short.

Im Saroeun, a farmer at the Coffee Plantation Resort in Mondolkiri province, said his plantation is turning down contracts from foreign importers. It simply cannot fill the orders, he said. Read more of this post

Cambodian rubber strides on

Swift Resources, a rubber company with more than 3,800 hectares of rubber plantation in Kratie province, is preparing to raise funds with an initial public offering on the Hong Kong stock exchange. While the price of rubber remains high, the company is looking to fund further expansion of its plantations in Mondulkiri, Ratanakkiri and Steung Treng provinces, Kong Kimny, administrative manager of Swift Resources Snoul rubber plantation, said yesterday.  Read more of this post

Work on Canadia rice mills begins

Canadia Bank  has begun construction on an US$8 million rice processing facility in Takeo province, aiming to process rice for export to the international market, company officials said.

Set up in the province’s Doun Keo district, the mill will be capable of processing up to 500 tonnes of paddy per day, Canadia Investment Department Manager Rien Samrith said.

“We want to invest in this province because of its potential for agriculture, and we want to push people to produce more rice,” he said.

Construction on the facility began earlier this month, and will be finished by September this year. Read more of this post