Pailin has great potential in the agriculture sector, in addition to serving as a gateway for the Kingdom’s agricultural exports to Thailand, according to governor Ban Sreymom. In the past five years, more than five million tonnes of Pailin grown crops have been exported.

“Despite being a warzone for many years, with a commensurate prevalence of landmines, Pailin province has become a commercial agricultural hub with huge potential,” she told a February 23 press conference on the province’s progress of the past five years.

“There are now 54 commercial silos in operation throughout the province, and its international border crossing is perfectly situated to facilitate the exchange of agricultural products between Cambodia and Thailand,” she said.

In the five years from 2018-2022, the volume of agricultural exports to foreign countries totalled more than 2,114,990 tonnes, including 397,845 tonnes of fresh cassava, 1, 115,788 tonnes of dried cassava, 34,500 tonnes of red corn, 48,370 tonnes of cornlets, 528,589 tonnes of mango, 6,907 tonnes of longan, 949 tonnes of pepper and 42 tonnes of pumpkin.

The next step the provincial authorities are planning is to improve the living standards of the people, through the use of the “One Village, One Product” mechanism. It is hoped that this will create local jobs, reduce migration, and improve the knowledge and techniques of local producers.

“Producing high-quality Cambodian products that can meet the demands of today’s markets is our goal. This will also attract tourists,” added Sreymom.

Through this strategy, she also expects to attract more investment.

Sok Sathim, director of the provincial Department of Commerce, said that in order to increase the flow of agricultural exports to foreign markets in 2023, the department will strive to promote the implementation of the government policies.

“This will provide better opportunities for private sector investment, create jobs and improve people's lives,” he added.

According to the provincial administration, in the past five years, the province cultivated 8,930ha of rice fields, 12,257ha of other horticultural land and 51,759ha of industrial zones.

This yielded 124,368 tonnes of rice, 594,376 tonnes of additional horticultural crops and 4,041,845 tonnes of industrial goods.

The administration said it is committed to promoting many development mechanisms, including technical training in the best use of fertilisers, pesticides and high-quality, high-yield seed variants. It will also examine potential value-added processed agricultural products to increase the value of its exports.