Cambodia spent $327.57 million on the import of agricultural fertilisers, insecticides and herbicides in 2020, up 1.25 per cent from $323.54 million in 2019, in response to growth in the sector, to boost output and increase exports, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
Ni Vuthea, area manager of Bayon Heritage Holding Group Co Ltd, an importer and distributor of Japanese fertilisers, told The Post on May 16 that government policy to foster domestic production, higher market prices, an increase in agricultural labour, and favourable climatic factors spurred a significant surge in crop planting and fertiliser use last year.
“In 2020, demand rose for all kinds of agricultural fertilisers,” he said, adding that company sales were up 30 per cent year-on-year.
He expects fertiliser imports will further ratchet up this year, buoyed by an increase in area under cultivation, an expanding agricultural labour market and conducive weather conditions.
An employee of A4S, which imports a wide range of fertilisers from Thailand, said farming activity greatly increased last year, underpinned by government encouragement to increase production for domestic supply and exports.
“Overall, I observed that demand last year increased slightly, but could be higher this year,” he said.
Last year, Cambodia exported $4.37 billion worth of agricultural products, up $500 million from 2019, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries reported.
Cambodian Aquaculturist Association president Sok Raden previously said that the increase in agricultural output has led to a steady surge in fertiliser and pesticide imports, most of which are brought in from neighbouring countries.
According to the agriculture ministry, its Department of Agricultural Legislation regularly briefs and advises relevant authorities, traders and farmers on the proper use of pesticides and fertilisers and their advantages and disadvantages.