In the News (Cambodia): Agro-industry hurt by lack of processing

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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