A handful of seven-day pilot farmers’ markets are set to kick off from end-January till early February at PTT filling stations in Phnom Penh and four provinces, to bring Cambodian products closer to consumers, according to Ministry of Commerce spokesman Pen Sovicheat.

The initiative comes after a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on January 21 by Ministry of Commerce secretary of state Sok Sopheak and PTT (Cambodia) Ltd managing director Nuttapong Kaewtrakulpong, and witnessed by Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak.

The agreement entails cooperation on the promotion and sales of domestic wares over the seven-day period at designated filling stations, the ministry said in a press release.

Sovicheat told The Post on January 24 that the event would be held at six stations: two in the capital – in Chbar Ampov and Prek Phnov districts – one in Kampong Cham’s Skun village, which is known for fried spiders, and one in each of Siem Reap, Kampong Chhnang and Takeo provinces.

The press release said the MoU aims “to prop up Cambodian products in the domestic market, develop Cambodian trade on the basis of transparency and community interests, [and] streamline the use of local products”.

The deal also seeks to “increase and build the capacity of entrepreneurs, as well as create business opportunities to participate in the development of trade, and enhance socio-economic inclusion in Cambodia”, it said.

“This cooperation will contribute to the development of trade and economic development, especially to spur the use of domestic products more widely among the masses, as well as to create a rich market for domestic products,” it added.

Sovicheat said PTT “offers us a chance to sell products such as seasonal fruits, sticky rice cakes and regional handmade trinkets, and the company will provide free sales space at a common booth that allows no more than 10 vendors”.

Sothea Sambath, president of the Bangkok-based Cambodia Business Council in Thailand (CBC), told The Post on January 24 that the plan would help promote the sale of Cambodian products more widely and provide local buyers with easier access to them.

This is a mechanism that helps to encourage local producers, he emphasised.

He said: “We really support PTT [Cambodia] Ltd for its contributions to the bolstering of our Cambodian products at its filling stations, which makes it easier for customers to buy them.

“In addition, local producers are happy that PTT has helped their sales.”

According to Sovicheat, PTT Cambodia is also set to implement three other projects in May, August and November this year, with 63 people taking part in selling local wares.

“These projects will be held on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at some PTT filling stations, such as – in the second quarter of 2022 – at 16 filling stations along national roads 2, 3 and 4, at 10 stations in the third quarter along National Road 6 and at five more along National Road 5 in the fourth quarter,” he said.