Between January and May, Cambodia exported nearly 1.2 million tonnes of cassava products to Vietnam and Thailand. The split saw Vietnam receiving close to 350,000 tonnes, while Thailand welcomed nearly 830,000 tonnes.

Im Rachana, spokeswoman for the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, highlighted that the majority of Cambodia’s cassava export goes to Thailand. Of this, 751,600 tonnes were fresh cassava, 71,250 tonnes were cassava chips, and 7,100 tonnes were cassava pulp.

In contrast, Vietnam received 184,860 tonnes of fresh cassava, 124,750 tonnes of cassava chips and 39,800 tonnes of cassava pulp.

On July 5, Heng Sithy from the Battambang provincial agriculture department revealed that farmers were planting new cassava crops.

The cassava harvested in February 2023 was from last year’s yield, while the remaining is stored for export.

“Our farmers started cultivating this year’s cassava in March. Battambang province set a target of 130,000 tonnes, but as of July, cassava cultivation was just over 70,000 tonnes due to continuous farming,” he said.

Sithy noted that the new cassava season has been impacted by climate change, a report corroborated by district production offices.

Em Sophoan, the owner of Silo Hing Sophoan in Battambang province, also voiced concerns about reduced buying during this year’s harvest.

“Thai traders signed fewer contracts with us this year due to China reducing orders. On the other hand, our farmers are turning to growing more corn than cassava this year because corn is more expensive,” she said.

Chan Vanny, a cassava farmer in Snoeng commune of Battambang province’s Banan district, shared insights about the crop’s varied harvest times.

“Some varieties can be harvested after eight months of planting, whereas others require a year. But most people in my area grow the one-year varieties because consumers in Thailand prefer them,” she said.

Vanny also mentioned the challenges faced by cassava farmers due to drought.

“I started growing cassava in February and had some problems due to the drought, making the cassava grow poorly, but not too badly damaged. I expect that with some traders coming to buy, cassava productions will be able to recover,” she said.

At the beginning of this year, during a forum on “Cambodia-China Trade and Investment Promotion in Guangxi province”, the director-general of trade promotion under the Ministry of Commerce signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chinese representatives.

The agreement aimed at strengthening trade promotion cooperation and promoting potential Cambodian products to the Chinese market. It also targeted boosting the export of 400,000 tonnes of Cambodian dried cassava to China in 2022-23.