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Berlin eyeing local mangoes

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Cambodian mangoes could soon be directly exported to Germany and elsewhere in Europe. Heng Chivoan

Berlin eyeing local mangoes

Cambodia is slated to export fresh and dried mangoes to the European market, Germany above all, as Berlin investigates the possibility of export.

On November 24, officials from the German embassy and the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) visited Kirirom Food Production Co Ltd (KFP) and other growers, in search of potential suppliers of fresh and dried mangoes to respond to the robust European demand for the fruit.

KFP sales manager Meas Holy told The Post on November 25 that ambassador Christian Berger and the delegation discussed providing support for the firm’s processing plant and facilitating the purchase of mangoes for export to Germany and other European countries.

Although no specific estimates for the volume of mangoes considered for import were given, the officials did say they would support and enhance cooperation between EU buyers and local firms geared towards exports, he said.

“Now they’ve come to see if we are capable of supplying them. My company doesn’t source enough fresh mangoes to export, we plan to remedy that in about two years, but on the other hand, we do have enough dried mango to ship,” Holy said, claiming that KFP products fit the bill in terms of quality.

He believes that the German and other EU markets are wide-ranging and boast strong demand for fresh and dried mangoes, and are ripe for Cambodia to expand its market presence.

Holy shared that KFP has exported fresh and dried mangoes to 10 major markets across the world, including Japan, the Philippines, China, Thailand, the UK and Japan. He highlighted that Germany could provide value opportunities for further expansion.

Chheng Kimlong, an economist at the Asian Vision Institute, underlined that boosting Cambodia’s export diversification in all sectors, especially agricultural and agro-industrial merchandise, is the single most important factor of economic development today, in line with the Kingdom’s drive to boost its economic base.

An accelerating outbound flow of mangoes and mango products, notably to destinations such as China, South Korea or Europe, would signal a significant interest in Cambodian goods, he said, noting that the Kingdom’s agricultural products are inexpensive and of relatively high quality, “equal to or better than” those of neighbouring countries.

“Most of Cambodia’s agricultural products are competitive and superior to the those of some countries in the region, especially our neighbouring countries, and we use the least amount of chemical fertilisers. That’s why most countries, especially Germany, want to export mangoes from us,” Kimlong said.

He pointed out that mangoes are an incredibly versatile fruit that can be consumed fresh, or processed into starch or other products, including canned drinks, soaps, or ice cream.

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