Call for Farmers Impacted by Rice Price Fall to Contact Ministry

Rice farmers impacted by the recent fall in rice prices are being urged to contact the Ministry of Agriculture so it can coordinate with mills
A worker carries a sack of rice into a truck in Phnom Penh, November 16, 2022. Kiripost/Siv Channa
A worker carries a sack of rice into a truck in Phnom Penh, November 16, 2022. Kiripost/Siv Channa

The Ministry of Agriculture has urged farmers affected by the drop in rice prices to contact the Ministry's working team in order for them to gather information.

According to a Ministry of Agriculture statement issued on Tuesday, after being made aware of the recent drop in rice prices in Battambang and Banteay Meanchey provinces, the Ministry has decided to assign two Under Secretaries of State, Khy Kosal and Chhum Chhunly, as well as a team from the General Department of Agriculture, to inspect the two provinces.

It was issued after farmers in Battambang and Banteay Meanchey provinces ran into difficulty harvesting rice this rainy season.

Harvesting rainy season rice, particularly Phkar Romduol types, takes place from November to mid-December, causing mills to get clogged and impacting rice prices, as it did last year. The harvest remains ample this year, and has been stable since the beginning of November, despite being affected by heavy rains, it said.

“Many rice mills in Battambang and Banteay Meanchey provinces are actively gathering, drying, and grinding this type of Pka Romduol rice based on their capacities,” it said.

“The Ministry of Agriculture calls on affected farmers to contact the Ministry's working team directly at 095 951 111 (for Battambang) and 012 838 937 (for Banteay Meanchey) in order for them to get full information and coordinate with local mills,” it added.

Theng Savoeun, director of the Coalition of Cambodian Farmer Community, said the decline in rice prices is due to an increase in rice harvesting. Additionally, Cambodia rice has relied on sales in neighbouring nations, such as Vietnam and Thailand.

“When it increases, traders have the opportunity to lower the price, which is both concerning and profitable,” he said.

He said that in order to solve the problem, the government must boost the national budget to grant loans to investment firms or mills, and ensure they utilise state money to buy rice from the people.

“The Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce must consider developing a strategy and build relationships in order to export our rice to neighbouring countries and guarantee rice prices,” he said. “This way of thinking also gives advantages and optimism to our members.”