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Yellow bananas blossoming with Chinese investment

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
In 2019, Cambodia exported more than 150,000 tonnes of bananas. Heng Chivoan

Yellow bananas blossoming with Chinese investment

China has given the green light for five new companies to invest in Cambodia’s yellow banana plantations. Industry insiders said they are optimistic that yellow banana exports to that country will double in 2020.

According to the official Facebook page of the Chinese Embassy in Cambodia on Saturday, the Chinese Customs Administration decided to grant Sing He Yi Agriculture Co Ltd and four other companies official rights to export yellow bananas to the Chinese market.

The approval of the five companies brings the total number of companies allowed to export bananas to China to 15.

The Facebook page said: “These registered banana plantations in Cambodia cover more than 8,000ha and 21 packaging plants, which will help increase Cambodia’s processing production capacity and Cambodia’s competitiveness.”

Longmate Agriculture Co Ltd director Hun Lak whose company invested in a 1,000ha banana plantation in Kampot province, told The Post on Sunday that allowing more companies to export yellow bananas from Cambodia would attract further investment.

He said China has a market demand of 12 million tonnes of bananas a year. “Cambodia’s exports of yellow bananas to the Chinese market is increasing. Investment in crops will increase, which is a positive sign for Cambodia’s agricultural sector.”

He said he is optimistic that Cambodia’s yellow banana exports will double in 2020.

In 2019, Cambodia exported more than 150,000 tonnes of bananas.

“Our banana exports may double to between 250,000 and 300,000 tonnes this year due to increased investment and growth in cultivation land.

“The yield of bananas will increase accordingly, as long as the Chinese market is still open to Cambodia without export quotas. But we need to have hygiene standards in line with Chinese market demand,” he said.

Long Sreng Hua Jian Agriculture Development Co Ltd CEO Heng Davy said last week that due to high demand for yellow bananas in the Chinese market, her company plans on expanding its cultivated areas further.

Her company owns about 200ha of yellow banana plantations in Kampong Cham province. “Currently, our supply to China is not meeting the volume of orders,” she said.

Yellow banana exports to international markets from January 1 to July 8 this year reached 147,760 tonnes, an increase of more than 150 per cent compared to last year, said Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon.

“Cambodia’s quality of yellow bananas and good trade relations have led to a steady increase in agricultural exports to international markets, especially in 2020,” he said.

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