Agriculture minister Dith Tina led a delegation from both the ministry and the private sector to visit the Agricultural Wholesale Market (AWM) in Thailand, with the intention of establishing a similar market in Cambodia in the future.

Tina touched on this in an April 24 social media post.

“I went on a study visit to learn from the private sector and experts to check and find out how the wholesale market is organised in Thailand in an effort to establish a wholesale market in Cambodia in the future,” he said.

Hun Lak, CEO of Tropicam Fruit and Vegetable Co Ltd, which farms vegetables and fruits in Kandal and Mondulkiri provinces, accompanied Tina’s visit to Thailand. He highlighted the importance of the visit, saying Thailand has nearly 60 years of experience in establishing agricultural wholesale markets.

“They started their work back then with the same situation as Cambodia today, where there is no concentration, lack of hygiene, lack of quality management systems. So we went to study and learn from their experiences to prepare to build a wholesale market in Cambodia by first making sure that there is a standard,” he said.

Lak was optimistic that such a wholesale market would address the complaints and concerns of farmers that their production outstrips the available market demand, a problem he said the private sector should be able to solve in partnership with the ministry.

Also along on the trip were French officials from the international relations department at the International Market of Rungis.

On April 19, Tina met with Bertrand Ambroise, director of Rungis’ department, at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries headquarters in Phnom Penh.

During the meeting, Tina requested that the French side send trade experts to study the potential of Cambodia’s agricultural sector and work together to bring Cambodian agricultural products to the French market and vice versa.