Call for Pepper Farmers to Apply to Export to China

Pepper farmers wanting to export their goods to China next year are being urged to file an application with authorities to be eligible as an exporter
Pepper on sales in a market in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa
Pepper on sales in a market in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa

The General Department of Agriculture is urging those who work in the pepper industry to file an application for plantation registration to be able to officially export their produce to China next year.

In a statement issued on December 12, the General Department of Agriculture called on owners of pepper plantations, community pepper operations, pepper processing, and packaging firms that aim to process and package pepper for export to China to submit applications for plantation registration.

Applications should be submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture's General Department of Agriculture.

The statement said that after receiving an application, the General Department of Agriculture will send an officer to review operations in accordance with the technical steps outlined in the protocol.

“The General Department of Agriculture will submit to the Chinese side a list of the names of pepper plantations and pepper packaging facilities early in January 2023, so that the Chinese side may inspect and assess the list before proceeding with the official pepper export,” it said.

Ngoun Lay, president of the Kampot Pepper Promotion Association, said his farm is already registered and urged other farmers to follow suit. However, he said he only has a 50 percent chance of being chosen as Kampot pepper is expensive.

“We are unsure if they will select it or not, however, most of the farms have already registered. Also, we don’t know about its price [Kampot pepper] as we haven’t negotiated,” he said.

“Besides Kampot pepper, we believe that it’s [other forms of Cambodia pepper] more likely to succeed as it costs less than Kampot pepper. It costs about $3 to $4, while pepper in Kampot is costly.”

He said there has not been an increase in Kampot pepper export.

“By December, our total pepper exports had only reached 80 tonnes. So, it differs from 2021, when we exported more than 100 tonnes of pepper,” he said. “However, they have just begun to buy pepper. They just recently bought 10 tons of pepper.”

On November 9, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries and the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China signed the Protocol on Phytosanitary Requirements for Pepper Export from Cambodia to China.

In the first seven months of 2022, 6,990 tons of pepper were exported, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries. The same period the previous year saw Cambodia sell 22,580 tons of pepper, meaning exports have fallen by about 70 percent.

Cambodia supplied 6,298 tons of pepper to Vietnam, Germany imported more than 608 tons, and Taiwan received 21 tons, as well as several other countries, during the same time frame.