Thursday, December 30, 2010

Top Japanese trader signs trade agreement with AKR

by AC
30 December 2010

Top Japanese trading house signed trade agreement with AKR, paving the way for the two countries for closer cooperation on the agro trade, and turning the rice policy of the Cambodian government into action.


Marubenni's expansion. Picture shows top executive of Marubenni exchange trade information with Mr. Chieu Hieng, CEO of AKR.

Marubenni, a Japanese firm with top trading volumn in agricultural produces, signed a trade agreement with AKR, a leading rice producer in Cambodia, Mr. Chieu Hieng, CEO of AKR reveals.

The Japanese company aims to expand its activity to ASEAN countries, especially in the rice business where the firm already hold a strong position in the agro trade in the world. Marubeni is a long estrablished company (since 1858) with last year trading volumn more than 105 US billion dollars. Her business activities range from energy, machinery, food to finance and real estate.


This agreement will strengthen the position of Marubenni in the rice trade, when it tap to the new world rice supplier, Cambodia.

Prime minister of Cambodia, Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo HUN SEN, aims to revolt the countries rice industry, previously slow developed, by turning Cambodia to be a quality and reliable world rice/food producer.

AKR is a major quality/reliable rice producer. Estrablished 10 years ago nearby Phnom Penh, it plays a major role, for the private sector, to develope the countries rice industry. AKR is expanding it capacity this year upto 800 tons a day rice milling with a two megawatt rice husk fired power plant to ensure a reliable energy source.


Marubeni executive pointed to the rice bowl that cooked Neang Malis rice with apprciation. The rice cooking test comparing the rice taste from the other rice varieties avaiable in the market.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Phnom Penh Post: Rice-husk generator to power up villagers.

The Phnom Penh Post
Wednesday, December 15, 2010

RICE miller and exporter Angkor Kasekam Roongroeung Co., Ltd. will start operating its US$6million rice husk-powered electricity generator next month, its director said yesterday.

Chieu Hieng, Angkor Kasekam Roongroeung director, said yesterday that the kandal province-based firm would sell the excess electricity from its 2.5 Mega-watt generator to surrounding villagers.

“We hope that the electricity machine will not only supply us power for rice processing, but we will also be able to supply electricity power to the villagers around here,” he said.

Meng Sak Theara, director of the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy’s Department of Industry, said that the rice husk-powered electricity machines helped increase the Kingdom’s productivity because it was cheaper to run such technology compared with alternative power sources.

“I think using an electric machine powered by combustion of rice husks will enable rice exports to have more competitive prices,” he said.

Chieu Hieng said new power source would see the firm more than double its export capacity. He said about 30,000 tons of rice had been exported so far this year but “when we receive the new power, we will increase our rice productivity for export to 70,000 tonnes next year”.

“We will take this opportunity to process more rice for export in an attempt to help our rice producers earn more income,” he said.

AKR already has an international rice processing machine in Ang Snoul district, Kandal province, where it process rice for export to diverse markets including Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Hong Kong.

The firm said it would use 1.5MW to process the rice, but will sell the other 1 MW to villagers in the area at 900 riel per kilowatt. Normally villagers would pay 1,100 riel per KW from the national grid.

AKR, which can process 900 tonnes of rice per day, began building the new power source in 2009. It invested up to $6 million in the construction of the plant and the land it was built on.

In September, Golden rice Cambodia said it was in the first stages of building a $2 million rice-husk power plant to supply electricity to mills in Kampong Speu province’s Oudong district.

ភ្នំពេញ ប៉ុស្តិ
ថ្ងៃពុធ ទី១៥ ឆ្នាំ២០១០

"រោងម៉ាស៊ីនប្រើថាមពលអង្កាមនៅខេត្តកណ្តាលនឹងដាក់ឲ្យប្រើប្រាស់ខែក្រោយ"


ភ្នំពេញ៖ក្រុមហ៊ុនអង្គរកសិកម្មរុងរឿងនឹងដាក់ឲ្យដំណើរការរោងម៉ាស៊ីនថាមពលអគ្គីសនីតម្លៃ៦លានដុល្លារដែលមានកម្លាំង២,៥មេហ្គាវ៉ាត់ដើរដោយថាមពលអង្កាមនៅខែមករា។

លោក ជីវ ហ៊ាងប្រធានក្រុមហ៊ុនអង្គរកសិកម្មរុងរឿងខូអិលធីឌី បានប្រាប់ភ្នំពេញប៉ុស្តិ៍កាលពីថ្ងៃច័ន្ទថារោងម៉ាស៊ីននេះ នឹងជួយដល់ប្រតិបត្តិការក្នុងការកែច្នៃអង្ករសំរាប់នាំចេញ។

លោកបញ្ជាក់ថា៖«រោងចក្រអគ្គីសនីនេះមិនត្រឹមតែអាចផ្តល់ថាមពលសម្រាប់បំរើឲ្យការកែច្នៃអង្ករនាំចេញរបស់យើងប៉ុណ្ណោះទេប៉ុន្តែក៏អាចធ្វើការលក់ផ្គត់ផ្គង់ទៅឲ្យប្រជាពលរដរស់
នៅតំបន់ជុំវិញនោះប្រើប្រាស់ផងដែរ»។

រោងម៉ាស៊ីននេះមានទីតាំងសិតក្នុងស្រុកអង្គស្នួលខេត្តកណ្តាល។ លោក ម៉េង សក្កិធារ៉ា អគ្គនាយកនៃអគ្គនាយកដ្ឋានឧស្សាហកម្មរ៉ែ និងថាមពលបានមានប្រសាសន៏ថារោងចក្រអគ្គីសនីនេះ
ជួយបង្កើនផលិតភាពវិស្ស័យឧស្សាហកម្មស្រូវអង្កររបស់កម្ពុជាព្រោះថាតម្លៃថាមពលដែលផលិតបានមានតម្លៃថោក។
លោកបន្តថា៖«ខ្ញុំគិតថាការដំណើរការរោងចក្រផលិតថាមពលអគ្គីសនីដុតអងា្កមនេះនឹងជួយឲ្យអង្ករនាំចេញកាន់តែមានថ្លៃប្រកួតប្រជែងខ្លាំងជាងមុន»។
បច្ចុប្បក្រុមហ៊ុនអង្គរកសិកម្មរុងរឿងកំពុងដំណើរការកែច្នៃអង្ករសម្រាប់នាំចេញទៅកាន់ទីផ្សារនានា មានដូចជា ប្រទេសបារាំង អ៊ីតាលី អាល្លឺម៉ង់ អង់គ្លេស អូស្រ្តាលី និងទីក្រុងហុងកុង ។
លោក ជីវ ហ៊ាង ឲ្យដឹងថា នៅឆ្នាំ២០១០ នេះ ក្រុមហ៊ុនបាននាំអង្ករចេញទៅកាន់បណ្តា ប្រទេសខាងលើបានប្រមាណ ៣០,០០០តោន ហើយក្រុមហ៊ុននឹងបង្កើនឲ្យបាន ៧០,០០០តោន នៅឆ្នាំក្រោយ ។

លោកបន្តថា៖ «យើងនឹងប្រើប្រាស់ឪកាសនេះដើម្បីកែច្នៃអង្ករនាំចេញឲ្យបានច្រើន ប្រយោជន៍ជួយដល់កសិករដែលជាអ្នកផលិតស្រូវឲ្យពួកគេមានប្រាក់ចំណូលកាន់តែខ្ពស់» ។

តាមក្រុមហ៊ុនបានឲ្យដឹងថា គេនឹងបែងចែកកម្លាំងភ្លឺង ១ ម៉េហ្គាវ៉ាត់ លក់ទៅឲ្យប្រជាពលរដ្ឋនៅក្នុងតំបន់ ដែលលក់ក្នុងតម្លៃ ៩០០រៀលក្នុងមួយគីឡូវ៉ាត់ម៉ោង និង ១,៥ មេហ្គាវ៉ាត់សម្រាប់រោងម៉ាស៊ីនកិនស្រូវ ៕

Monday, December 20, 2010

Bangkok Post: Cambodia a new Hom Mali rival

Bangkok Post
13 December 2010

Thai Hom Mali rice could lose market share in Hong Kong to Cambodia, where premium fragrant rice sells at more competitive prices.

Chinese rice traders sample Thai Hom Mali rice at an event held in Si Sa Ket in response to reports that some shipments to China contained other varieties mixed with jasmine rice.

Hong Kong imports 220,000 to 230,000 tonnes, or 10% of the jasmine Hom Mali rice Thailand ships each year.

But the volume of Thai rice to the territory has been falling in recent years, as Cambodia offers lower prices by shipping out of ports in Vietnam, Thai exporters said.

"Cambodian fragrant rice sold in Hong Kong is very competitive at US$800 per tonne, lower than the $1,100 for Thai rice," said Charoen Laothamatas, the president of Uthai Produce, the country's leading Hom Mali exporter.

Thai Hom Mali exports to Hong Kong dropped to 196,100 tonnes last year, down 3% from the year before. In the first 10 months this year, the volume shrank 14% to 135,000 tonnes.

"Cambodia's jasmine rice appears to have the similar fine quality of Thai rice since it also has many locally owned strains and cross-bred varieties, some developed from Thai Hom Dok Mali 105 and Pathum Thani 1," he said.

Its exports have been active in recent years thanks to good productivity and the strong sweet scent of its jasmine rice grown from fertile soil with fewer chemical fertilisers, said Mr Charoen.

Prime Minister Hun Sen forecast earlier that Cambodia would produce 7.5 million tonnes of rice this year, more than enough for local consumption of 4 million, so it plans to export the balance.

Thai Hom Mali rice also must deal with fake Hom Mali being sold in Hong Kong and China.

Because Hom Mali sells at a premium, it encourages traders to copy the trademarks on bags of lower-standard grain, said Mr Charoen.

Hom Mali exports have dropped to 1.82 million tonnes in the first 10 months of the year, down 14% from the same period of 2009.

His company's sales last year shrank to between 150,000 and 160,000 tonnes from more than 250,000 the year before.

To alleviate the problem, he suggests the government classify other Thai jasmine fragrant rice strains in order to offer choices for consumers who don't want to spend as much.

He added the quality of Hom Mali rice, especially the aroma, has been deteriorating due to a lack of investment in research and development of rice breeds and the lack of a zoning system to ensure the grain's properties.

"It is always frightening to learn there are new strains of less fragrant jasmine rice being planted in the Northeast, the region most suitable for growing Hom Mali," he said.

Mr Charoen also urged the government to guard against illegal imports of Cambodian jasmine rice by Thai millers because of the Thai government's income guarantee programme.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cambodian Business Review: Contract Farming for Rice in Cambodia.

Cambodian Business Review
May 2010
Volume 6, Issue 5

From the farmer’s perspective, contract farming provides stable market access, credits, extension services, infrastructure and other benefits, but has drawbacks such as limiting the flexibility of farming and marketing.

Based on a survey of rice contract farming for export in Cambodia, this paper uses simple mean comparison, propensity score matching comparison, and switching regression comparison to assess the impact of contract farming on farmers’ performance.

Farmers with larger family sizes, younger and more educated household heads, less asset value, and those with farm locations closer to the highway are more likely to join the contract. The contract farming of non-certified organic rice has a positive impact on farmers’ profitability.

They also suggest that progressive farmers living nears the highway tend to join the contract first, but leave contract farming early, while farmers in more remote areas remain under contract. It appears that the sample former-contract farmers’ profitability did not decline after leaving contact farming as they further intensified their farming systems to produce fro the less chemical conscious market.

Thus, contract farming may be involved in the process of helping subsistence farmers develop into independent commercial farmers.

Contract Farming: Pros and Cons

Contract farming is an institutional arrangement widely adopted in agricultural production. Contract farming represents an agreement between farmers and contractors (mostly processing and/or marketing firms) for the production and supply of agricultural products.

Under contract farming, farmers usually agree to deliver specific commodities in predetermined quantities and to meet predetermined quality standards, while contractors agree to provide production support (e.g., supply of input and provision of technologies) and accept products at predetermined prices.

Contract faming is beneficial to farmers because it opens up otherwise unavailable markets (especially to smallholder farmers), providing materials, technological and financial support, and reducing farmers’ costs and the risks involved in selling products.

It also benefits contractors by allowing them to establish close relationships with farmers and by reducing uncertainties in purchases through predetermined timing, prices, and quality standards.

While contact farming is a conceptually sound institutional arrangement, lack of flexibility is one of its main liabilities, and coordination problems are faced during its implementation.

As contract farmers are often required to grow new crops or adopt unfamiliar farming techniques, they tend to encounter greater production risks. They are also likely to face greater credit risks because of excessive advances, which tend to jeopardize the sustainability of their operations in the long run.
Supports from contractors can help reduce these risks. However, overdependence on a contractor not only makes farmers less adaptive and hence more vulnerable to economic shocks, but also tends to reduce their bargaining power in contract negotiations.

Contract farming may also be biased against poor farmers in remote areas while favoring better-off farmers with extensive land who are living in areas with good infrastructure. Contract enforcement is another major issue.

Farmers may breach the contract by diverting inputs supplied on credit to other purposes or selling outside the contract for higher prices, while contractors may breach the contract (e.g. with unfair quality standards, low quality inputs, poor technical assistance, incomplete purchases, delayed payment, etc.) because of inefficient management or marketing problems.

Contract Rice Farming in Cambodia

The largest contract rice farming operation in Cambodia is organized by Angkor Kasekam Roongroeung Co., Ltd.

Its main business is to export non-certified organic Neang Malis (an aromatic Cambodian rice variety introduced by AKR) to the international market1. AKR has invested about US$8 million in a high-tech rice mill that has a processing capacity of up to 10 tons per hour or up to 30,000 tons per year.

In 2005, the company worked with farmers in four provinces (Kandal, Kampong Speu, Takeo, and Kampot) which were selected based on their ideal agronomic conditions for the cultivation of the Neang Malis organic rice.

At the start of the contract farming operation, only about 100 farmers joined the contract because of a lack of trust in AKR’s contract arrangement as well as the company’s low milling capacity. Subsequently, the total number of contracted households reached more than 40,000. More than 80% of the contract farmers are located in Kompong Speu province.

AKR’s experiences shows that contract farming was generally successful in Kampong Speu province and in some nearby areas in Takeo province. Field observations indicate that the distance from the operation sites to the AKR headquarters is not a factor determining the success of contract farming.

Rather, most of the successful cases were farmers in former forestland and land close to mountains where rice can be produced at higher quality and yield. On the other hand, farmers that are close to AKR (and therefore close to main roads) and have more market experience tend to have higher levels of defaulting on the contracts.

This latter group of farmers is made up of the former contract farmers of the survey. AKR is involved in every stage of rice production and marketing. Its roles include: 1) identifying areas suitable for growing fragrant paddy; 2) establishing farmer associations based on existing commune structures and bringing these under its management; 3) using these associations to recruit farmers; 4) delivering improved seeds and technical advice to contract farmers; 5) monitoring and solving production problems; 6) collecting and purchasing rice output at AKR’s gate; 7) sorting milled and packaged paddy into different types; and 8) exporting rice to international markets, including Europe, Australia and Hong Kong.

Since all steps of production and processing are well coordinated, AKR shortens the supply chain under contract farming and thus lowers transaction costs for rice export, relative to the normal supply chain.According to AKR’s contract arrangement, the company distributes Neang Malis seeds in credit during July and buys back the output from October to January of the following year. This arrangement requires farmers to repay the credit seeds and transport the harvested paddy to the company’s rice mills.

The amount of seeds that farmers need to return, the minimum guaranteed price, and the penalties for contract defaults, are explicitly stated in the contracts. However, while contract farmers agree to obey AKR’s quality control mechanisms, conditions related to production methods are not clearly specified in the contracts.

The contracts also do not clearly state AKR’s liabilities if it does not buy contracted rice at the predetermined prices. The contracts state that AKR is obligated to buy rice from farmers at the minimum price without clearly specifying the terms of purchase in detail.

In practice, AKR often uses technical reasons to reject or lower the prices of rice that farmers have transported to the firm. AKR establishes commune associations to help enforce contracts.

Each commune association consists of a head, a deputy and the village head. The head and deputy are trained by the firm to understand the basic technical aspects of organic farming and the farming of Neang Malis.

Each association routinely observes the progress of its members and reports to the AKR management. The progress report includes every stage o production from plowing, transplanting, water management, and harvesting.

Each association also provides basic technical advice to its members, advises them not to use chemical fertilizers, and helps them grow other crops after the harvesting season. The associations also help members develop mixed or integrated agriculture (e.g., growing vegetables and raising livestock) to increase incomes and reduce poverty.

Commune associations report to AKR any issues related to the production process such as drought, flood disease, insect and other significant issues that affect production. The firm channels its policies through the associations and provides extension services via its agents.

At present, these associations are tightly controlled by the firm and have little bargaining power.

However, the have a promising future and could develop into independent organizations representing the interests of the community.

AKR associations appear to be a good model for community-based development. They provide the basis and experiences for the future development associations in Cambodia where farmers are predominantly smallholders.

On average, contract farmers have larger rice fields and use a higher percentage of their rice fields for commercial purposes. And average contract farmer controls 1.71 hectares of land (including both own and rented land) and uses 1.64 hectares of the land for rice farming, 46% of which is used to plant commercial rice.

An average former-contract farmer controls 1.30 hectares of land and uses 1.26 hectares of the land for rice farming, 26% of which is used to plant commercial rice. An average never-contract farmenr4 controls 1.03 hectares of land and uses 1.02 hectares of the land for rice farming, 5.4% of which is used to plant commercial rice.The low percentage of commercial rice fields for never-contract farmers indicates that most of them are subsistence farmers. On average, contract farmers have a lower harvest ratio (46%) than former-contract farmers (55%) for the entire operation. The difference is even greater in commercial fields.

Compared to former- and never-contract farmers, contract farmers enjoy significant price premiums in their commercial operations. On average, contract farmers can sell their commercial rice at 747 riel per kg, higher then former-contract farmers’ 684 riel per kg and never-contract farmers’ 645 riel per kg.

High rice price is a major factor4 attracting farmers to join the contract, which not only subjects them to strict quality standards but also constrains their freedom in farming activities such as the use of seeds and chemicals.

Former-contract farmers’ average commercial rice price is not significantly different from that of never-contract farmers.

As contract farmers con sell their rice at higher prices, one may expect that hey would have higher revenues, which nevertheless turns out not to be the case. On average, contract farmers’ revenue (per hectare) from commercial operations is 722,000 riel, which is lower than former-contact farmers’920,000 riel but not significantly different from never-contract farmers’684,000 riel.(US$1/-=4100 CR).

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cambodia Daily: Challenges Confront Growth of the Rice Sector.

Mr. Chieu gave interview to Cambodia Daily reporters

Cambodia Daily
December 2nd, 2010

In August, the government released a new policy aiming to increase rice exports in Cambodia to 1 million tons a year by 2015, up from less than 40,000 tons currently. Despite rising interest from foreign buyers, experts agree that reaching that target will be a challenge due to a combination of high energy costs, Poor irrigation and limited credit availability for farmers and millers to expand.

In an interview with Cambodia Daily reporter Hul Reaksmey and Simon Marks yesterday, Chieu Hieng, chairmen of Angkor Kasekam Roongroeung, Cambodia’s largest exporter of fragrant rice, said the rice sector would only reach its potential if capital investment in the sector experiences a major boost in the coming years and farmers can be convinced to sell to dedicated brokers that ensure a regular supply of high-quality paddy.

Q: Do you believe that Cambodia’s rice sector is capable of reaching exports of 1 million tons a year by 2015?

A: We can reach the target, but we have to prepare from now ….If you ask me how much we can export in the future, I am unable to say. In Cambodia, we lack standardized rice mills. Therefore, if we want to export millions of tons, we need to have exemplar rice in order to meet market demand. If we achieve these twothings, we will be able to export a lot of rice.

Q: What are the major constraints on the expansion of the rice sector?

A:
The biggest burden is capital constraints. It’s the biggest issue affecting the sector…….. [The banks] are strict and the interest rates are high. The second issue is related to trading regulation across borders. We do not control the border seriously enough. When rice becomes expensive, neighboring countries will challenge and buy rice paddy from us. If the price drops, the buying stops. This is an irregularity that makes those who have rice mills for export face difficulties.

Q: Is the rice sector capable of convincing banks and microfinance institutions to lend it money in order to fuel its growth?

A: If the government has a policy working on this matter, I think there will be quick progress….. The government should encourage the use of quality seeds …. and stop farmers from growing rice at random and buyer from purchasing rice in an unorganized fashion. If we have a good arrangement to classify the standard of rice, we will sell at a higher price and the market will rise.

Q: Where do you believe most foreign demand for Cambodian rice will come from?

A: The main market will be countries in Asean such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia. Besides that,we think that demand will come from Eastern Europe and some African countries.

Q: How do you convince buyers from abroad to purchase rice from Cambodia as opposed to the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand?

A: If standards rice mills increase in number to [as many as 300] in the future, Asean countries comprising the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia will come and buy from us. They will have a dependable market. If we don’t have these rice mills, they will not come and buy. They will turn to look for rice in Vietnam and Thailand. More importantly, we have to maintain quality standards.

Q: What is your company doing to ensure that rice quality is always of a high standard when it arrives in paddy from at the factory?

A: We have created an association to distribute seeds in four provinces ( Kandal, Kompong Speu, Takeo and Kampot). In these four provinces, we have between 60,000 and 70,000 families. We have been buying expensive seeds to ensure good quality for nearly 10 years. Sometimes people sell the paddy to other brokers, who bring it to Vietnam and Thailand. These are the circumstances our company faces.

Q: How do you make sure that rice farmers consistently sell to formal Brokers that deliver a reliable supply to your milling company?

A: We cannot do that…Farmers will sell their paddy rice wherever there is a high price.

Q: Do you have any recommendations on how rice exports though Sihanoulville Autonomous Port can be facilitative?

A: In other countries they manage [rice exports] by not allowing shipping companies from increasing and decreasing fees arbitrarily. They have a fixed fee. This is the first thing our country does not yet do. Secondly, we have to select a good container. We will not take any old container before we put our rice in it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Chieu Hieng's interview on Cambodian rice industry with TVK.




បទសម្ភាសន៍រវាងលោកអគ្គនាយកក្រុមហ៊ុនអង្គរកសិកម្មរុងរឿង ជាមួយទូរទស្សន៍ជាតិកម្ពុជា អំពីឧស្សាហកម្មស្រូវ អង្ករ នៅកម្ពុជា

ខាងយើងខ្ញុំទាំងអស់គឺ ខិតខំដោយមើលឃើញថាអនាគតរបស់ស្រូវម្លិះ ស្រុកខ្មែរយើងមានអនាគតវែងឆ្ងាយ ធំធេង ។ ដូច្នេះយើងទាំងអស់គ្នាខិតខំ ទាំងផ្លូវចិត្ត ទាំងអីៗទាំងអស់ ។ ខិតខំតាំងពីឆ្នាំដំបូងបំផុត យើងមានសមាជិក ចំនួនត្រឹមតែ ២,០០០គ្រួសារប៉ុណ្ណោះ ប៉ុន្តែសព្វថ្ងៃរហូតមកដល់ឆ្នាំនេះ ឆ្នាំទី១០ យើងមានសមាជិកចំនួនជាង ៣៧,០០០គ្រួសារ មានផ្ទៃដីជាង ៤០,០០០ហិកតារ។ ទាំងអស់នេះ គឺពឹងផ្អែកលើការគ្រប់គ្រងរបស់យើងដែលសំខាន់ នោះ គឺការបំផុសពូជស្រូវ ចែកពូជឲ្យអោយប្រជាជនគាត់ដាំ ។ បន្ថែពីនេះទៀត មុនដាំយើងមាន ភ្នាក់ងារដើរមើលស្រែ និងតាមដាន ចាប់តាំងពីសាប ដល់ស្ទូង រហូតដល់ស្រូវផើម យើងតែងតែមើលរហូត ។ យើបង្កើតសមាគម រួចប្រគល់សមាគមនីមួយដែលមាន ប្រធានភូមិ ប្រធានឃុំ ជួយមើលផង ។ ដូចនេះ ពេលស្រូវដែលដឹកមកក្រុមហ៊ុន យើងស្ទើតែមិនបាច់ ពិនិត្យគុណភាព ព្រោះយើងដឹងថាតំបន់នេះជាស្រូវសមាជិក យើងសុទ្ធសាធ តែម្តង យើងគ្រាន់តែធ្វើសម្ងួត ដើម្បីកិនឲ្យវាឡើងក្រអូប ស្តង់ដារឡើងល្អ ។ ចំពោះតំបន់ដែលយើងដាំ ភាគច្រើនគឺត្រូវស្រាវជ្រាវមើលដី ព្រោះស្រូវនាងម្លិះ ត្រូវជាមួយដីល្បាប់ខ្សាច់ ព្រោះដីល្បាប់ខ្សាច់មានឧស៊ីហ្សែននៅខាងក្រោម ហើយស្រូវនាងម្លិះមានឫសជាង ២០ ស.ម វាបឺតឧស៊ីហ្សែនឡើងមកជួយ ចិញ្ចឹម ឬសវាឲ្យល្អ ម៉្យាងទៀតដីប្រភេទនេះ វាថ្លា វាអត់មានភក់ស វាស្អិត ៕

បញ្ហាទី១ គឺយើងសង្កត់ធ្ងន់លើគុណភាព ហើយគុណភាពនេះយើងក៏តឹងតែង យ៉ាងខ្លាំង ដូច្នេះគឺថាបើសិន ជាគុណភាពយើងបានប្រាកដល្អ ទីផ្សាខាងក្រៅ គេស្ម័គ្រចិត្តនឹងទិញយើង ។ ហើយម៉្យាងវិញទៀត ចំពោះទីផ្សាខាងក្រៅ ខ្ញុំមានទំនាក់ទំនងជាយូរមកហើយ គេស្គាល់យើង បើគេបានឃើញអង្ករ យើងទៅ គឺគេសប្បាយចិត្ត ។ ទី២ យើងក៏បានអញ្ជើញខាងអ្នកទិញមកមើល ប្រទេសយើង ដើរមើលគ្រឿងចក្រ មើលម៉ាស៊ីនយើង មើលដល់កន្លែង ប្រជាកសិករដែលយើងចែកពូជស្រូវឲ្យគាត់ដាំដុះ គាត់ទៅមើល ដល់ស្រែ ដល់អីៗទាំងអស់ គាត់មានជំនឿយ៉ាងខ្លាំង ។ ដូចនេះ ទើបអង្ករយើងលក់ ក៏បានថ្លៃជាងប្រទេសជិតខាង ។ រាល់ថ្ងៃយើងយកតំលៃតាមទីផ្សាប្រទេសថៃ ព្រោះអង្ករម្លិះមានតែប្រទេសថៃជាអ្នកចេញតំលៃ ដូច្នេះយើងដើរតាមទីផ្សា ប្រទេសថៃ ហើយនៅថៃជារៀងរាល់ថ្ងៃត្រូវមានតំលៃចេញមកអញ្ចឹង ។ យើងយកតំលៃរបស់ថៃមកពិចារណា ថាតើខែនេះយើងលក់ក្នុងតំលៃ យ៉ាងណា ថ្លៃប៉ុន្មាន តែទោះបីយ៉ាងណាក្តី ក៏តំលៃរបស់យើងតែងតែ ខ្ពស់ជាងថៃក្នុងមួយតោនពី ៤០ ទៅ ៨០ ដុល្លារអាមេរិក ទៅតាមពេលវេលា ។ នេះដោយសារអង្ករយើងសុទ្ធល្អ មិនលាយ អង្ករយើងគេទទួលស្គាល់តែម្តង ។ ទីផ្សាសំខាន់ គឺទីផ្សាហុងកុង បើយើងបានចូលទីផ្សាហុងកុង គឺយើងទៅ កន្លែងណាក៏បាន ព្រោះទីផ្សាហុងកុងវាសំខាន់ជាងគេ ។ សព្វថ្ងៃនេះ យើងមានទីផ្សា ដូចជា បារាំង អ៊ីតាលី ប៊ែលជីម អេស្បាញ អាល្លឺម៉ង់ ហើយនៅខាងអាស៊ីយើងមាន អូស្ត្រាលី មានហុងកុង ។ យើងមានមិនគ្រាន់ សំរាប់លក់ជូនទីផ្សាទាំងអស់ទេ មិនគ្រាន់សោះ ហើយណាមួយរវាងពី ១ ទៅ ២ឆ្នាំនេះ ខាងប្រទេសចិនបានមកទំនាក់ទំនងយើងយ៉ាងច្រើន និងញឹកញាប់ ព្រោះគេត្រូវការក្នុងបរិមាណច្រើនមែនទែន ប៉ុនែ្តយើងអត់មានសមត្ថភាព ផ្តល់ជូនគេ ។

វាមានការលំបាកយ៉ាងខ្លាំង គឺថាការសំខាន់នោះទីផ្សាត្រូវការបរិមាណ មិនថា ប៉ុន្មាន ក៏គេយកដែរ នេះទី១ ឯទី២ ប្រជាកសិករគាត់ពង្រីកផ្ទៃដីទ្វេឡើងៗ ពី ១ឆ្នាំ ទៅ ១ឆ្នាំ ដូចនេះ យើងត្រូវត្រៀមលុយទុនទៅទទួលទិញបរិមាណ ទាំងនោះ ដើម្បីកិនលក់ជូនទីផ្សា ។ យើងត្រូវប្រើទុនច្រើន ។ ទី៣ យើងត្រូវ មានម៉ាស៊ីនបន្ថែម ១ ឬ ២ខ្សែទៀត ប៉ុន្តែចំពោះថវិកាយើមានការខ្វះខាត យ៉ាងច្រើន ។ យើងមិនដែលបានទទួលពី រាជរដ្ឋាភិបាលជួយដល់បញ្ហា ហ្នឹងសោះ ហើយខ្ញុំឆ្លៀតឪកាសនេះ សំណូមពរដល់រាជរដ្ឋាភិបាល គួរណា ជួយជំរុញទាំងផ្លូវចិត្ត ទាំងអីៗទាំងអស់ឲ្យបានដើរទៅមុខ ព្រោះថាប្រយោជន៍ វាបានដល់ប្រជាកសិករយ៉ាងច្រើន ។ យើងបានរៀបរាប់ប្រាប់គាត់ថា យើងបានបង្កើតសមាគម ចែកពូជឲ្យប្រជាកសិករ ធនាតំលៃទិញ ចូលវិញ ហើយម៉្យាងវិញទៀត គាត់ឃើញប្រជាកសិករ ក្រោយពីដាំស្រូវនាងម្លិះ ជីវភាពគាត់កើនឡើង ហើយណាមួយខាងទីផ្សារក្រៅប្រទេស គេក៏ឃើញថា អង្ករយើងមានគុណភាពល្អ គឺគេពេញចិត្ត កន្លែងហ្នឹងហើយដែលយើង ប្រាប់គាត់ថា យើងត្រូវការទុន ។ មានបញ្ហាស្មុគ្រស្មាញយ៉ាងខ្លាំង គឺនៅពេល ច្រូតកាត់ ឈ្មួញបានលក់ស្រូវរបស់យើងទៅវៀតណាមយ៉ាងច្រើន ទី២ ទុនយើងវាខ្វះខាត ប្រជាកសិករគាត់ពង្រីក ដីដាំដុះឡើង ដល់ស្រូវចំនួនច្រើន យើងលុយវាមិនគ្រប់ទៅទាញទិញពីគាត់មក ដូច្នេះគាត់ធ្វើហើយ គាត់ត្រូវការ លក់ ព្រោះគាត់ត្រូវការលុយ ដល់អញ្ចឹងឈ្មួញកណ្តាលឆ្លៀតឪកាសហ្នឹង ទិញយកស្រូវរបស់យើង ៕

យើងត្រូវការធ្វើយ៉ាងម៉េចឲ្យរាជរដ្ឋាភិបាលជួយថវិកាដើម្បីប្រមូលទិញពីប្រជាកសិករ ទី២ ជួយបិទស្រូវល្អៗកុំឲ្យចេញ តែចេញទៅជួលកាលវាពាក់ព័ន្ធដល់ ប្រទេសជិតខាងយកស្រូវយើងទៅលក់វាយតំលៃយើង ។ រឿងហ្នឹងវាពាក់ព័ន្ធ ដល់ខាងម៉ាស៊ីន ព្រោះបើសិនខាងរាជរដ្ឋាភិបាលបានជួយដល់រោងចក្រកែច្នៃ ម៉ាស៊ីនឲ្យត្រូវស្តង់ដារ ទី៣ ជួយជាទុនប្រមូលទិញ ហើយទី៤ ខាងក្រសួង កសិកម្មត្រូវជួយជំរុញចំពោះស្រូវដែលទីផ្សាកំពុងត្រូវការ ជួយផ្សព្វផ្សាយជំរុញ ដើម្បីឲ្យវាមានគុណភាពតាមទីផ្សាគេត្រូវការ ។ ចំពោះស្តង់ដារ កាលកន្លង មកស្រូវដែលគាត់ទិញមក គឺសហការទិញរួមៗ ដូច្នេះ ទិញស្រូវ លក់ស្រូវ អត់បានថាទិញស្រូវលក់គុណភាព ។ ដូចនេះ សូមជួយផ្សព្វផ្សាយឲ្យម៉ាស៊ីន ស្រូវទាំងអស់ជួយរៀបចំការប្រមូលទិញ ចែកស្រូវតាមស្រូវប្រាំង ស្រូវវស្សា ស្រូវគ្រាប់វែង ស្រូវគ្រាប់ខ្លីឲ្យបានច្បាស់ ដល់អញ្ចឹងទៅ ខ្ញុំគិតថានៅខាង ទីផ្សាវាអាចមករកឯង ។ ហើយជាសំខាន់ ប្រទេសឥណ្ឌូនេស៊ី ប្រទេស ហ្វ៊ីលីពីន គាត់ត្រូវការអង្ករ ។

ចំពោះប្រជាកសិករគាត់ពេញចិត្តសម្បើមណាស់ ទី១ បើធៀបពីស្រូវដែលគាត់ ដាំស្រូវធ្ងន់រឺស្រូវស្រាលផ្សេងៗក្តី ១ហិកតា គាត់លក់បានតែ ១លានរៀល ប៉ុណ្ណោះ ប៉ុន្តែពេលគាត់ដាំស្រូវនាងម្លិះ គាត់លក់បានជាង ៣លាន ទៅ ៤លានរៀល ។ អញ្ចឹងចំណូលគាត់កើនទ្វេរ១ ជា ៣ ធ្វើឲ្យកើនជីវភាពគាត់ ជួយលើកស្ទួយគាត់ គាត់ពេញចិត្ត និងសប្បាយចិត្តណាស់ ។ជួនកាលគ្រួសារ ខ្លះគាត់មានតែ ១ហិកតាដល់ពេលស្រូវគាត់លក់បានចំណូលច្រើនគាត់ទៅ កាប់ឆ្ការព្រៃពង្រីកដីដាំដុះបន្ថែមប្រហែលជាប់ ២ ឫ ៣ ហិកតា ថែមទៀត ។ សព្វថ្ងៃមួយគ្រួសារមាន៤-៥ ហិកតា ក៏មាន ក្នុងទំហំដីហ្នឹងគាត់រកលុយបាន ច្រើនណាស់ក្នុង១ឆ្នាំៗព្រោះស្រូវនាងម្លិះធ្វើតែ ៤ខែប៉ុណ្ណោះ ។ ចំពោះចំណូល របស់គាត់ ធ្វើឲ្យគាត់ប្រែពីផ្ទះស្លឹកទៅផ្ទះក្បឿង ពីផ្ទះក្បឿងតូច ទៅផ្ទះក្បឿងធំ ក្រៅពីហ្នឹងមានគោយន្ត... ឥឡូវមានធូរធារច្រើនណាស់ ៕

Thursday, April 8, 2010

CAMBODIA: Future Growth Rate of Rice Production Uncertain

By Michael Shean
USDA
January 26, 2010

CAMBODIA: Future Growth Rate of Rice Production Uncertain
Cambodia has recently re-entered the world market as a rice exporting nation, following a 30-year hiatus caused by war, political isolation, and a decimated agricultural sector. A resurgence of rice cultivation is occurring all across the nation’s vast lowlands, as the rural population expands and previously abandoned or mined farmland is brought back into production. Rice production growth in Cambodia over the past 10-12 years has been surprisingly strong, increasing at a 9 percent annual growth rate. At the same time, rice exports have increased from zero in MY 2000/01 to an estimated 800,000 tons this year (MY 2009/10). Given the country’s recent success in achieving surplus rice production, the Cambodian government is intent on expanding its production and export capacity and becoming a major rice export nation. Public statements by government ministers in the last year indicate that Cambodia wants to double rough rice production by 2015 to approximately 15.0 million tons (9.45 million milled basis) and export 8.0 million (5.0 million tons milled rice). Although it is apparent that Cambodia has all the required natural resources (ample land and water) to make this possible, serious constraints plague the nation’s rice sector and its future growth potential is uncertain. Analysts from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), the Economic Research Service, and the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh investigated rice production prospects in Cambodia and the outlook for continued growth in the sector during recent travel in the country.

Rice Production Environment
It is generally believed that rice has been continuously cultivated in Asia for over 10,000 years, having been first domesticated in eastern India and the lowland plains of Southeast Asia. In Cambodia today, rice is the overwhelmingly predominant food crop, being grown on an estimated 2.3 million hectares or nearly 85 percent of the country’s total cultivated area. The rice cultivars grown are incredibly diverse, with crop scientists estimating there are over 3000 varieties being cultivated in the country. Cambodia is roughly the size of Oklahoma (69,900 square miles) and has a vast central alluvial plain devoted to rice farming. This large lowland plain is dissected by several major rivers, including the Mekong and Tonle Sap, and is covered by ancient, highly-weathered and relatively infertile soils. The lowland plain itself surrounds a very large wetland area, and includes Cambodia’s largest inland water body, Tonle Sap lake or “Great Lake.”

Rice is grown over a diverse landscape, and encompasses four major rice producing ecosystems (Rainfed Upland, Rainfed Lowland, Deepwater or Floating Rice, and Irrigated Dry Season or Recession Rice). The predominant growing environment is the rainfed lowland rice crop, which accounts for over 90 percent of total wet season crop area. The country’s rice growing regions experience distinct wet and dry seasons, with the majority of the national crop being cultivated during the summer monsoon wet season. Roughly 80 percent of national rice production occurs in the wet season (86% of total rice area), with 20 percent produced in the predominantly irrigated dry winter period (14% of total area). The rainfall pattern is highly erratic, with drought and floods being regular occurrences (often in the same season). The government estimates that approximately 27 percent of the wet season rice crop is at least partially irrigated, while the dry season crop is essentially fully irrigated. Government irrigation figures are reportedly inflated to some degree, given they classify recession rice acreage as being irrigated (though the water source is actually receding floodwaters), and also include areas with non-functioning irrigation systems. Information about Cambodia’s rice production is difficult to obtain and is sometimes crudely estimated. Various organizations have issued reports on the topic and data is frequently conflicting. It was attempted in this report to use the most reliable information available and attribute information to its source.
Cambodia’s population is currently estimated by the Ministry of Planning’s National Institute of Statistics (NIS) in the 2008 Population Census and by the World Bank at roughly 14.0 million, and is growing rapidly (1.7% per annum). Approximately 80 percent of the population resides in rural areas and 71 percent are estimated to be solely dependent on agriculture (largely rice cultivation) for their livelihoods. The average farm size in the country varies by region and population density, with the largest in the northwest provinces at 2-4 hectares and smallest in the southeast at 1-2 hectares. In the crowded southern Mekong River region, farms often average less than 1 hectare, but nationally farm size averages approximately 1.2 hectares.

Rice farmers in Cambodia are predominantly subsistence producers, with the World Bank estimating only 40 percent of growers are generally capable of generating a marketable surplus. Average national rice crop yields are among the lowest in Southeast Asia, despite a decade of very strong growth following the gradual adoption of improved varieties and expanded use of irrigation. Chemical fertilizer use is extremely low and native soils are often very infertile. The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) estimates that Cambodia has the lowest rate of fertilizer use for rice in Southeast Asia, with only about 30 percent of total area receiving even minimal applications. Virtually all land fertilized receives well-below recommended levels of nutrients. The majority of farm producers do not have officially documented land titles, and therefore have diminished capacity to secure affordable lines of credit for either crop production or land improvements (irrigation). The severe shortage of agricultural credit in Cambodia is crippling rice producers capacity to continue to increase productivity and output, due to their inability to adequately finance purchases of improved higher-yielding seed, fertilizer, pesticides, farm machinery, and grain storage equipment. Expansion of cultivated acreage is also becoming problematic owing to a gradual decline in the rural labor force. An expanding national economy has resulted in a net migration to urban areas in recent years, and rapidly increasing rural labor costs. Farmers, government officials, and development authorities indicated that there was a critical manpower shortage during periods of peak demand for rice cultivation (planting, transplanting, harvesting) and that further growth in national acreage would require a substantial increase in farm mechanization.

Recent Growth
USDA estimates marketing year 2009/10 Cambodian milled rice production at a record 4.63 million tons, up 2.4 percent from 2008/09 – the fifth consecutive record harvest. Over the past 12 years national rice production has more than doubled, rising 110 percent over the period from a level of 2.2 million tons in 1998/99. The scale of improvement in the past 5 years has been unprecedented, with average milled rice production reaching 4.2 million tons or a 74 percent increase over the previous 10 year period (when production had already recovered to pre-war levels). The unusually strong recent growth has been attributed by both private and public sector officials to a significant increase in cultivated rice area (26 percent) and crop yields (40 percent). Government statistics indicate wet season crop area and production expanded 2.2 percent and 7.2 percent per annum respectively, while dry season area and production increased by 5.5 percent and 10.5 percent.

The expansion of rice area was largely achieved by gradually bringing abandoned or idle farm lands back into production, while small amounts of forested land was also converted by slash and burn farmers in upland areas. Prior to the Vietnam and Cambodian wars, national rice area was estimated at approximately 2.4 million hectares. During the peak war years the rural population was decimated by periods of extreme warfare, political oppression, starvation, and genocide. Cultivated rice area was estimated to have averaged under a million hectares during the 1970’s, representing a decline of approximately 70 percent. Gradually, following the restoration of peace in Cambodia after the successful culmination of the Paris Peace Talks in 1991, the rural population began to grow again and repopulate the countryside. Only as recently as 2004 has cultivated national rice area returned to the levels common in the 1960’s.

According to a wide range of public and private sector rice industry and research officials interviewed during USDA’s rice tour, several other factors played a major role in the country’s rice production success story over the past decade. Chief among these were a considerable expansion of the nation’s irrigation infrastructure, increased use of improved high yielding rice varieties, and the intensification of the crop cycle through introduction of double-cropping in the main wet season. Collectively, these advancements catalyzed a dramatic increase in national rice crop yields, which rose by 54 percent between 1998/99 and 2008/09.

According to Cambodia’s Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology (MOWRAM), national irrigated acreage increased by nearly 650,000 hectares or 162 percent between 1996-2007, though these estimates are to some degree exaggerated owing to the inclusion of recession rice acreage (sown on land as annual floodwaters recede) and land where irrigation systems are broken and inoperable. Irrespective of the actual irrigated area estimate, it is evident that a significant increase in overall irrigated rice acreage has occurred, and that this infrastructure has definitely contributed to the strong recent growth in national rice yields. The government has made a concerted effort to acquire international loans and grants to expand the reach of its national irrigation infrastructure, and this effort has born fruit in the rice sector.

In addition, scientists at the Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) report that there has been a significant increase in the adoption of improved high-yielding rice varieties by Cambodian famers in recent years. CARDI estimated that roughly 40 percent of all rice acreage was under improved varieties in 2008, a 25 percent increase over levels achieved in 2003. Research officials indicated that CARDI was officially established in 1998, and that it focused on enhancing yields in traditional varieties grown in the country. It was also reported that a considerable grass-roots effort on a regional level to demonstrate the improved yield and grain quality attributes of new CARDI-developed varieties was finally taking hold, with new farmer inquiries outstripping available seed supplies.

One of the most important means through which Cambodia has achieved its strong recent rice production growth has been through modifying the traditional summer wet season cropping cycle, and bringing much more land under an intensive double-cropping regime. Historically, the great majority of rice farmers sowed and harvested a single annual rice crop. However, following the re-establishment of peace in the country, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Australian Agency for International Development quickly repatriated native Cambodian seed varieties lost in the war years, while also introducing high-yielding short season varieties (maturing in 120 days or less) capable of revolutionizing the rice cropping cycle. These initial steps at revitalizing the genetic rice stock in the country and rapidly increasing rice production potential in the main summer growing season put Cambodia back on the path toward rice self-sufficiency. As of 2008 CARDI reported that three-quarters of all summer rice acreage is cultivated with improved high-yielding short-season varieties, enabling farmers to grow two-three crops in a single year. The net result of improving the varietal stock cultivated in Cambodia, creating the capacity to double-crop in the wet season, and expand irrigated rice area was to dramatically boost national crop yields. According to official government statistics, wet season rice yields have doubled since 1990 while dry season crop yields have risen approximately 54 percent.
Land Resources and Irrigation
Cambodia is blessed with ample land and water resources, which if properly developed and managed can be harnessed to expand its agricultural sector, increase rural incomes, and improve the national economy as a whole. With a rapidly growing, impoverished, and largely agrarian population, Cambodia would benefit greatly from development that would result in optimally productive use of the land. The total land area of the country is estimated at over 18.0 million hectares, with only 2.7 million hectares or 15 percent currently being devoted to agriculture (predominantly rice farming).

As of 2004, the nation’s forest lands were estimated by the World Bank at 8.0 million hectares (44.5 percent of total land area), down 5.1 million or 39 percent from levels recorded in 1970. The illegal extraction of timber has been rife for decades, while clear-cutting of land devoted to forest or agricultural concessions has also contributed to the significant reduction in the nation’s forest resources. The second largest land use behind forest cover is actually land devoted to economic concessions, or private sector company development. The concessions are typically located on previously forested or degraded Government (State-owned) land and often devoted to plantation-style industrial agro-forestry production of trees suitable for building material, pulp and paper, or for rubber. Cassava production is the single largest product grown from land concessions devoted to agriculture, with total field crop agricultural concessions estimated to be only 0.8 million hectares or 21 percent of total concession lands.

The fourth largest land use category in the country in terms of land area is scrub land. This land category is widely distributed and contiguous to both existing cultivated farmland and forest. The scrub land as defined in the table above was formerly tropical forest before rural landowners and/or loggers harvested the bulk of the timber. Much of the non-forested scrub lands visible in satellite images of the country have already been allocated for use as economic concessions, though the World Bank reported at least 1.7 million hectares remain intact. The location of these lands on the periphery of all the major crop land and populated areas in the country is not unexpected. Recent reports from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) highlight the fact that an estimated 92 percent of the population relies on firewood for cooking fuel, and that projects to provide alternative fuels are a major focus of environmental programs in the country.

The Cambodian government wants to double rice production in the next 5 years and radically boost its commercial international rice exports. These goals will be virtually impossible without an expansion of the country’s irrigation infrastructure and a significant increase in cultivated rice area. The potential arable land area of the country has been estimated at roughly 3.6 million hectares by respected international authorities, though officials in the Cambodian government (National Institute of Statistics) have argued that up to 6.0-6.5 million hectares could potentially be converted to agricultural use. Cambodian agricultural development officials have also indicated they believe rice area itself could be expanded to approximately 3.5 million hectares, an increase of roughly 1.2 million hectares or 52 percent. No matter what the most realistic figure is, it is apparent that a large portion of existing non-forested scrub land would have to be targeted for agricultural conversion should the government follow-through on its rice sector development plans. Any significant agricultural expansion would in turn cause considerable additional pressure on the remaining forest lands, as the population seeks new sources of building material, fuel and fodder. Cambodia has essentially boxed itself into a land use and environmental quandary by allocating over 20 percent of its national land area to privately-held industrial forest and agricultural concessions, many of which have 99 year leases. As it is, these vast concession lands are the only real buffer between areas suitable for agricultural conversion and the country’s remaining tropical forests. At some point, given the government’s agricultural expansion intentions, these lands will become a source of contention between social development forces and those of commercial interests.

As indicated earlier, the nation’s irrigation infrastructure has been gradually growing over the past two decades. This has been a major focus of the government in terms of enabling farmers to achieve higher crop yields, reducing vulnerability to drought, stabilizing rice production potential, and increasing national food security or self-sufficiency. Despite this growth, Cambodia’s irrigation resources remain significantly under-developed. In comparison to similar rice cultivation environments in the lowlands of Thailand or the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, Cambodia has barely scratched the surface in regards to bringing higher concentrations of rice land under irrigation. In Cambodia, MOWRAM estimates that approximately 24 percent of the country’s rice land is irrigated. By comparison, 50-75 percent of the land in the lowlands of south-central Thailand and southern Vietnam has been successfully brought under irrigation after decades of investment and development.

The Cambodian government recognizes that its goal of joining the ranks of the world’s major rice export nations will require considerable additional development of its irrigation infrastructure in the heavily populated southeastern Mekong River floodplain and in the lowlands surrounding Tonle Sap, Cambodia’s “great lake.” The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology (MOWRAM) has reported that they successfully brought approximately 650,000 hectares of rice area under irrigation between 1996 and 2007, and have plans and finance sufficient to irrigate an additional 800,000 hectares over the next decade. The government has had a very proactive campaign in recent years to acquire financial assistance (grants and loans) from international donors and foreign governments for major construction projects directed at the agricultural and energy sectors. In total, MOWRAM acknowledged that it had received commitments totaling US $1.1 billion for irrigation infrastructure development, with an additional US $850 million pledged in October 2009 from the Chinese government for the construction of dams (hydro), irrigation, roads, and port upgrades. The roughly two billion dollars in pledged development assistance has the potential, given it is leveraged wisely, to substantially alter the status quo in the agricultural sector. Cambodia is one of the poorest nations in Asia, and this scale of investment in a country the size of Oklahoma, if not squandered on ill-conceived or poorly implemented projects, could help underpin additional agricultural and economic expansion.

Future Constraints
It is apparent that Cambodia has sufficient land and water resources to theoretically enable sustained long-term expansion of its agricultural production capacity, including the rice, agro-forestry, fisheries, and livestock sectors. However, as with all national-scale development initiatives, the devil is in the details, and it is uncertain whether the government can succeed in maintaining recent growth rates. USDA employees touring the country uncovered or observed significant constraints that are presently plaguing the rice production, milling, and export capacity of the country. These problems are fundamental obstacles or limitations to future growth, and there is a need for government policy, programs, and budgets sufficient to address them. The government has prioritized achievement of a massive irrigation infrastructure construction program over other approaches that would support other rudimentary agricultural or rural economic and development needs. As a result, the areas/issues outlined below will likely remain long-term impediments to Cambodia’s future rice production potential.

Core Constraints to Rice Production Growth:

• Extreme under-funding of agricultural crop extension programs
- Severe lack of educated and experienced extension officers
- Severe insufficiency in on-farm technology transfer and farming systems training and assistance
• Significantly inadequate funding for scientific agricultural research
- Government relies almost totally on international donors for crop research
- Recent research funding crisis may cripple CARDI activities
• Extremely low production and availability of improved rice seed
- 2,000 tons of certified seed produced annually
- Sufficient for only 1.2 percent of national rice area
- Private company producing seed may be financially challenged
- Inability to increase production and rural distribution
- Improved seed uptake and usage rates threatened

• Virtually complete lack of commercial farm credit system
- Crippling lack of credit affects both producer and milling/export industries
- Lack of affordable credit ensures underinvestment in production capacity
- Farm mechanization (planters, harvesters) and industrial machinery (mills, grain dryers, storage facilities) severely inhibited
- Usage levels of improved seed and fertilizer severely inhibited
- Only 10% of farmers have land titles, inhibiting access to commercial credit at affordable rates
- Extremely low mechanization rates owing to lack of farm credit
•Rice crop yield growth rates stagnating
- Easy yield improvements already accomplished
- Double-crop acreage stagnating over past 10 years
- Farmers lack capital to regularly (annually) refresh planting seed stocks
- New cultivars require more fertilizer, irrigation, and improved agronomic management – farmers lack needed capital/credit/training
•Irrigation expansion threatened
- Poor engineering plagues many existing systems
- Almost total lack of system maintenance owing to expensive and unpopular farm-level user fees
- Systems developed in regions with unsuitable soils or other physical problems
- Many systems are not sustainable over a 10-20 year timeframe
- Lack of farm credit inhibits affordability of on-farm irrigation equipment (pumps, fuel) and tertiary access (feeder canal construction)


The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) estimates that total current annual Cambodian government outlays for agricultural programs (except irrigation development) in 2010 account for roughly 1 percent of the national budget. This is despite 80 percent of the population being rural, with fully 71 percent being totally dependent on agriculture for its livelihood. Lack of sufficient government funding and focus severely constrains current and future agricultural research and extension activities throughout the country. Both CARDI and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry (MAFF) need substantial increases in government funding, as well as effective management oversight, if they are to expand and enhance crop and farming systems research, farm-level agricultural extension (technology transfer), and improved certified seed (IR) production and distribution - possibly subsidizing IR seed costs to farmers.

The establishment of a national farm credit system, and a radical increase in the titling of agricultural lands, so that the average farmer has adequate access to credit and the ability to invest in production enhancements (equipment, IR seeds, crop inputs, labor, irrigation, grain storage, land improvements), should be made a priority. Plans for expanding irrigation should be implemented in a gradual sustainable fashion. This means learning from past mistakes and correcting broken, mismanaged, or ineffective systems that already exist. There is also a need for the development of an effective and well-financed rural irrigation engineering and credit system designed to aid producers in on-site maintenance of current irrigation systems, as the lack of sustainability of the core infrastructure is a major long-term problem. There is also the need to take a sober look at the feasibility of expanding its arable lands, and the trade-offs in future land use which will have to be made with existing finite land resources. Greater focus on these major endemic underlying issues in the agricultural sector, combined with effective programmatic responses and adequately funded agricultural extension and research, are essential to ensure the success of the government’s plans to double rice production in the near future. A continued overriding focus on major infrastructural investments without equal or greater attention paid to the other agricultural or rural economic and development needs is likely to hinder further development of Cambodia’s vaunted agricultural growth potential.

Current USDA area and production estimates for grains and other agricultural commodities are available on IPAD's Agricultural Production page or at PSD Online.



For more information contact Michael Shean michael.shean@fas.usda.gov (202) 720-7366
USDA-FAS, Office of Global Analysis

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

TVK news: H.E Keat Chhon visits Angkor Kasekam Roongroeung Co., Ltd.

video

TVK News
January 15, 2010

H.E Keat Chhon, Vice prime minister and minister of economic and finance, H.E Oun Ponmoniroth, Delegated minister escorting prime minister and H.E Son Kun Thor, Chairman of RDB, monitoring the activities of buying paddy and rice milling for export at Angkor Kasekam Roongroeung Co., Ltd located in Angsnoul district, Kandal province on January 15, 2010.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

H.E.Keat Chhon visits AKR, Rasmey Kampuchea

ឯកឧត្តម​ គាត ឈន់ អញ្ជើញទៅពិនិត្យ និងស្វែងយល់សកម្មភាព ប្រមូលទិញស្តុក និងកែច្នៃអង្ករសម្រាប់នាំចេញរបស់ក្រុមហ៊ុន នៅស្រុកអង្គស្នួល ខេត្តកណ្តាល

ភ្នំពេញោ :​យោងតាមរបាយការណ៍របស់ក្រុមហ៊ុនអង្គរកសិកម្មរុងរឿងចំកាត់បានឲ្យដឹងថា ក្នុងមួយឆ្នាំៗក្រុមហ៊ុននាំអង្ករប្រភេទនាងម្លិះខ្មែរទៅកាន់ក្រៅប្រទេស ជាពិសេសទៅអឺរ៉ុប ចំនួន ២០.០០០តោន ក្នុងរយៈពេលជិត ១០ឆ្នាំមកនេះ ។

គិតត្រឹមថ្ងៃទី១៥ ខែមករា ឆ្នាំ២០១០នេះ ក្រុមហ៊ុនបានទិញស្រូវស្តុកទុកឃ្លាំង​ ចំនួន ១៥.៥៨០ តោន និងទិញចូលបន្ថែមថ្ងៃទី១៥ ខែមករានេះ ចំនួន ៥០០តោន ក្នុងតម្លៃប្រមាណ ៣៨០ដុល្លាអាមេរិកក្នុង១តោន ដែលជាប្រភេទស្រូវ ក្រអូបនាងម្លិះ និងស្រូវឆ្មារព្រំ សម្រាប់កិនអង្ករលក់ចេញទៅកាន់ទីផ្សារបរទេស ដូចជា ប្រទេសអេស្ប៉ាញ បារាំង អាល្លឺម៉ង់ និងស្វីស នៅខែមេសា ឆ្នាំ២០១០ ខាងមុខនេះ ក្នុងតម្លៃ ១តោន ១.០៨០ ដុល្លាអាមេរិក ហើយស្រូវដែលក្រុមហ៊ុនប្រមូលទិញទាំងនេះ ជាស្រូវរបស់​កសិករដែលជាសមាជិកសមាគមអភិវឌ្ឍន៍កសិកម្មនៅខេត្តកំពង់ស្ពឺ កណ្តាល តាកែវ​ និងកំពត ។

ដើម្បីធានាបាននូវប្រសិទ្ធភាពនៃការប្រើប្រាស់មូលនិធិទ្រទ្រង់ និងអភិវឌ្ឍន៍វិស័យកសិកម្មនៅ ឯកឧត្តម គាត​ ឈន់
ឧបនាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រីក្រសួងសេដ្ឋកិច្ចនិងហិរញ្ញវត្ថុ ដែលជាប្រធានក្រុមប្រឹក្សាគោលនយោបាយរបស់មូលនិធិទ្រទ្រង់ និងអភិវឌ្ឍន៍វិស័យកសិកម្ម ឯកឧត្តម អួន ព័ន្ធមុនីរ័ត្ន រដ្ឋមន្ត្រីអមនាយករដ្ឋមន្រ្តី និងឯកឧត្តម សុន គន្ធរ ប្រធានអគ្គនាយក ធនាគារអភិវឌ្ឍន៍ជនបទ បានអញ្ជើញចុះស្វែងយល់សកម្មភាពប្រមូលទិញស្រូវស្តុក និងកែច្នៃអង្ករសម្រាប់នាំចេញរបស់ ក្រមហ៊ុនអង្គរកសិកម្មរុងរឿងចំកាត់ ស្ថិតក្នុងស្រុកអង្គស្នួល ខេត្តកណ្តាល កាលពីថ្ងៃទី១៥ ខែមករា ឆ្នាំ២០១០ កន្លងទៅនេះ​ ។

មានប្រសាសន៍នាឪកាសនោះ ឯកឧត្តម សុន គន្ធរ បានឲ្យដឹងថា ធនាគារអភិវឌ្ឍន៍ជនបទនិងពិនិត្យ លទ្ធភាពផ្តល់ទុនដល់ក្រុមហ៊ុន អង្គរសកិកម្មរុងរឿងចំកាត់ បន្ថែមទៀតក្រោមគំរោងទុនរបស់ធនាគារជនបទ​ និងធនាគារ វិនិយោគ​ និងអភិវឌ្ឍន៍ កម្ពុជា ។

នាឪកាសនោះដែរ ឯកឧត្តម គាត ឈន់ បានកោតសរសើរ និងគាំទ្រចំពោះក្រុមហ៊ុនអង្គរកសិកម្មរុងរឿងចំកាត់ ដែលបាន ធ្វើការនាំចេញអង្ករនាងម្លិះខ្មែរ ទៅកាន់ក្រៅប្រទេស ជាពិសេស អឺរ៉ុប ។ ឯកឧត្តមបានមានប្រសាសន៍ថា រាជរដ្ឋាភិបាល​ នឹងខិតខំស្វែងរកទុនបន្ថែមសម្រាប់គាំទ្រដល់ការអភិវឌ្ឍន៍វិស័យស្រូវ-អង្ករ កម្ពុជា ៕
ឃ្លាំងស្តុកស្រូវទុកសម្រាប់កិនអង្ករនាំចេញទៅកាន់ទីផ្សារបរទេស

Source: Rasmey Kampuchea 16 January 2010