Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Dith Tina met with the Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and the Cambodian Rubber Research Institute (CRRI) on March 9 to discuss a draft inter-ministerial prakas on the organization and functioning of their offices and units.

Tina recommended that the CRRI introduce new varieties and graft them effectively to improve production.

“The CRRI must take responsibility for protecting the Kingdom’s rubber production against both market forces and the effects of climate change. It is imperative that they study international markets so they can ensure increased prices and stable returns,” he said.

He also instructed CARDI – as well as the CRRI – to examine the language in the draft parkas and make sure its contents and purpose will be easily understood.

The ministry explained that the two institutions each have one head office and 10 branches.

The Kingdom currently devotes 404,578ha of land to rubber cultivation, 78 per cent of it being tapped for latex and the remainder employed growing and maintaining new plants.

During a January visit to the CRRI, Tina said the ministry intends to establish a rubber museum in Tbong Khmum province. The museum will also be home to a research and development facility.

He also proposed that the Chup rubber plantation Tbong Khmum district’s in Chiro II commune – which has nearly 500 trees that are more than a century old – should be registered as a national heritage property.

“The Chup rubber plantation was established in 1922 by a local company called Campagnie du Cambodge, which planted rubber on nearly 17,000ha of land concessions,” recalled Tina.

“There are 477 of the original trees still standing on the plantation, and we should protect them,” he said.