A dozen Korean ladies outfitted in pink aprons roll up their sleeves and sterilize their hands with cloths soaked in soju liquor. Then they spend 10 minutes hand-blending steamed sticky rice, yeast dissolved in water and azalea petals, before pouring the mixture into plastic containers. “Don’t forget to put it in the cool shade and stir it every morning and night with a spoon for a week. Think of it as like growing a plant. Those of you who are successful will have your own makgeolli,” said the instructor at the podium.
The group of women – the wives of Korean diplomats – were taking a three-hour lecture on traditional Korean rice wine at the Institute of Traditional Korean Food in downtown Seoul last Tuesday afternoon. What they were making was azalea sticky rice makgeolli.
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A lack of domestic processing plants is preventing Cambodian agriculture exports from directly reaching end-market buyers and allowing its neighbours Thailand and Vietnam to reap the economic benefits of the Kingdom’s harvests, a senior Ministry of Commerce official told delegates at a two-day government-backed trade-facilitation workshop that opened Tuesday.
A dearth of processing plants means that Cambodia’s agricultural industry is neither recognised nor rewarded adequately for its produce, MoC Secretary of State Mao Thora said.
He pointed to Cambodia’s cashew nut and cassava industries, which are struggling because processing is done in Vietnam and Thailand before they are sold on to the end-market buyer.
He said Vietnam exported 16,000 tonnes of Cambodian cashew nuts last year, becoming one of the world’s top cashew nut suppliers, while Cambodia was not ranked at all.
Similarly, Cambodian cassava was taken to plants in Thailand and Vietnam, which then sold the produce to China for more than double the buying price.
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SEOUL — South Korea Wednesday opened a kimchi research centre to raise global demand for its iconic dish and for the country’s cuisine in general.
The agriculture ministry said the world kimchi laboratory, sited at the Korea Food Research Institute in Bundang south of Seoul, would undertake detailed research into lactic acids created by fermentation and operate a pilot plant to make prototype foods.
Kimchi is a fermented dish made by mixing pickled cabbage, radish and cucumbers with various spices and condiments.
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TAUCH Tepich Import Export signed an agreement this month to supply 10,000 tonnes of unprocessed paddy worth US$2.3 million to south Vietnam-based firm Tri Mai, said the president of the Cambodian company.
Tauch Tepich said Sunday that it would begin delivery this week.
According to the agreement, Tauch Tepich will supply 1,000 tonnes of paddy a month by water across the K’orm Samnor border crossing in Kandal province.
“We hope Cambodian farmers will get more market opportunities to sell their paddy under this agreement,” he said.
Agricultural analysts say the Kingdom should be taking advantage of rising processing power to add value to the sector rather than shipping raw materials to the likes of Vietnam – a major competitor in agricultural exports – where Cambodia-produced crops are usually processed and sold overseas.
“I think it is better if the company could export rice instead of paddy because it brings greater advantages for the economy,” said Yang Saing Koma, president of the Cambodian Centre for Study and Development in Agriculture.
Read the full story at The Phnom Pneh Post