South Korean firm Hyundai Agro (Cambodia) Co Ltd plans to export 1,000 tonnes of fresh Keo Romiet mangoes to the South Korean market this year, according to Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon on February 2.
Following the January 20 successful pilot export of one tonne of the Kingdom’s predominant variety of the fruit, Sakhon said the company’s outlook for steadily rising export figures in the upcoming harvest season became all the rosier.
“The agriculture ministry is sparing no effort in its implementation of the government’s policy on abetting agricultural production to ensure food security and exports, as well as backing the national economy against the backdrop of the global epidemic,” he said.
Cambodia has exported 77 tonnes of fresh mangoes to South Korea since its inaugural shipment on January 15, 2020, according to the minister.
Mao Sothea, sales manager of mango processor and exporter Kirirom Food Product Co Ltd, said South Korea would be the second largest market for mango and its products, next only to China.
“The Cambodia-Korea bilateral free trade agreement coming into force will only engorge the market for Cambodia,” she said. The fourth round of talks for the deal concluded last month.
Ngin Chhay, director-general of the ministry’s General Directorate of Agriculture, told The Post that the Kingdom by and large exports the Keo Romiet cultivar to the South Korean, Chinese and Vietnamese markets.
He voiced optimism that Cambodia would be able to export fresh mangoes directly to the Chinese market early this year.
“We have evaluated mango plantations and six companies have already applied for the maiden export to China. With the documents under review, I hope to start exporting mangoes directly to China in early 2021,” Chhay said.
Citing a mid-December report from the directorate, Sakhon said Cambodia has 124,319ha of mango plantations, of which 91,398ha are harvested with an average yield of 1,448,677 tonnes per hectare per season. This translates to an average of 15.85 tonnes per hectare per season.
According to the minister, four companies are building hot water treatment (HWT) and vapour heat treatment (VHT) facilities to sterilise their crops and exterminate pests and will be ready soon.
The ministry estimates that Cambodia exported more than 8.55 million tonnes of agro-industrial products worth more than $2.32 billion through formal and informal means.
Of that, outbound shipments of fresh mangoes clocked in at 945,274.44 tonnes, worth $473,207,700.