Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Germany-led meet seeks to get produce to China

Germany-led meet seeks to get produce to China

A mango farm manager inspects fruit at a grove in Preah Sihanouk province in 2014.
A mango farm manager inspects fruit at a grove in Preah Sihanouk province in 2014. Heng Chivoan

Germany-led meet seeks to get produce to China

Germany’s international development agency (GIZ) held a workshop on Tuesday that promoted Cambodian agricultural exports to China, focusing on the necessary export guidelines and the sanitation standards that are often lacking in the Kingdom’s agricultural value chains.

“We have compiled export guidelines for certain products that have potential to benefit from trade with China, such as mangoes, bananas, and longan,” said Florian Miss, program manager of economic cooperation for GIZ’s sub-regional initiatives in Asia.

One of the main obstacles for exports to China are certificates guaranteeing the products meet sanitary and phytosanitary standards (SPS), which according to Miss can be difficult for many Cambodian farmers to obtain.

Hean Vanhan, director general at the Agriculture Ministry’s General Directorate of Agriculture, said China is strict about requiring SPS certificates for all imports, and many local farmers have yet to adopt standards necessary to acquire this certification.

“Our smallholder farmers have to grow their crops based on the requirements of [export] markets,” he said, but added that many farmers were not yet in compliance with the requirements.

One way to streamline that process would be to form cooperatives, Vanhan said, in order to ensure individual farmers weren’t taking on the burden of exporting goods alone.

One such group is the Kampong Speu Mango Association, which has been trying to clarify the rules surrounding SPS and get its members certified for several months.

In Chayvan, the association’s president, said he was hopeful about the actions being taken by both the GIZ and the Agriculture Ministry.

“We are getting closer and closer to the Chinese market,” he said.

Din Den, a longan farmer in Battambang province, also said he hoped to gain access to China’s market. Den typically exports his fruit directly to Thailand, but has to pay fees that eat into his profits.

He exports approximately 10 tonnes of longan to Thailand per day, he said, and is required to pay over 30 baht – or about $1 – per kilogram of his product just to get it past the border.

“I want to deliver to China directly, because I think this would increase my profits,” he said.

“I want to know how to reach the market, what the costs of transportation would be and how to comply with export laws.”

MOST VIEWED

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • Quarantine still a must for all arrivals, in next Covid chapter

    Since early May, an average of five to 10 Cambodian people have died from Covid-19 a day with many others testing positive amid the ongoing community outbreak. At the same time, however, hundreds of patients also recovered a day. The first Covid-19 case in Cambodia was

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • First commercial gold mine online

    Australian miner Renaissance Minerals (Cambodia) Ltd on June 21 began the commercial operation of its $120 million Okvau Gold Project in the northeastern province of Mondulkiri, becoming the Kingdom’s first gold producer. Located in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province’s Keo Seima district, the

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth