The Ministry of Commerce will collaborate with the Kampot Pepper Promotion Association (KPPA) to develop new strategic plans that build confidence in Kampot pepper and explore additional markets for the crop, one of Cambodia’s Geographical Indication (GI) products.
Minister Pan Sorasak said this at a February 4 meeting with KPPA president Nguon Lay and David Pavel, the president of Czech-owned EU Land and Pepper Investment Co Ltd.
In a bid to promote GI-registered Kampot pepper and prevent counterfeiting, Sorasak said the ministry would also assist KPPA in preparing a comprehensive 2021 work plan.
The roadmap will encompass the maintenance of e-commerce websites and social media, the promotion and preparation of exhibitions, the organisation of marketing teams and professional capacity building for members of the association, he said.
The courses would train producers, operators and traders in fields such as packaging, financial management, marketing and value addition, he added.
“The ministry will hold an annual conference with the Cambodian Pepper Federation and the World Pepper Community to open up opportunities for traders to be matched with businesses and for buyers and sellers to meet,” Sorasak said.
He said Kampot pepper is one of the four agricultural products of Cambodia that the ministry has registered as GI goods, along with Kampong Speu palm sugar, pomelos from Kratie province’s Koh Trong island and Mondulkiri wild honey.
KPPA president Nguon Lay told The Post on February 7 that the ministry’s assistance would help provide Kampot pepper a strong market in the international scene.
“More feedback gives growers more hope. The Ministry of Commerce will help prepare a 2021-2023 strategy for Kampot pepper,” he said.
He said 42 companies have entered contract farming with small-scale Kampot pepper farmers for the 2021 harvest season.
Cambodia exported more than 70 tonnes of Kampot pepper to the international market last year, he said, adding that the crop is shipped out to more than 50 countries today, mostly those in Europe.
He said prices now stand at $15 per kg for black pepper, $25 per kg for red pepper and $28 per kg for white pepper. According to him, the prices have not changed in five years.
The latest KPPA data, released in April, show that membership increased to 455 households last year from 118 in 2010 when it first registered with the ministry. But Lay told The Post on November 4 that 68 out of the association’s then-447 households had abandoned the crop.
The April statistics show that land designated for Kampot pepper cultivation has increased from 10ha in 2010 to 290ha today – exclusively in Kampot and Kep – which can yield 82.78 tonnes of the commodity per annum, according to KPPA.