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

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the