The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries has met with key stakeholders to establish local rice seed production to help farmers.
On October 31, Dith Tina, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, met with delegates from the Cambodian Rice Federation to discuss rice seed production and rice exports.
According to a Facebook post, the Minister of Agriculture, Dith Tina, said that high-quality rice seeds are critical in rice cultivation. The usage of high-quality rice with high yield, rapid growth, and resistance to diseases and pests will result in higher rice prices on the market, he added.
He also urged all stakeholders, particularly the private sector, to participate to ensure that pure rice seeds produced by farmers will be suitable for the market.
During a rice seed distribution ceremony last week, Prime Minister Hun Sen asked the Minister of Agriculture to figure out a suitable formula for rice seed production as it will be difficult to obtain pure rice seeds if the nation releases them all.
Therefore, rice seed production is required, beginning with the governmental effort by collecting, purchasing, and exchanging with farmers, he added.
“We don't have to look for land to grow our own seeds as our citizens already grow rice. We simply select a region with an adequate water supply and plant high-quality seeds in order for them to produce that seed for us,” he said. “Then we buy from them to stockpile so that in the future, we can deliver rice seeds suited for each place”
Theng Savoeun, director of the NGO Coalition of Cambodian Farmer Community, said that a plan to produce pure rice seeds for assisting farmers is a good approach for benefiting the economy and protecting the value, as Cambodia has various types of rice.
“If we have rice seeds production, we will provide farmers an opportunity to expand their business while also lowering the cost of purchasing local rice seeds for consumption,” he said.
“It saves them money, time, and resources. It also shows the preservation of our farmers' identities as well as their goods,” he added. So, this is a crucial point that I support in order to tackle the problem of local manufacturing for local supply."
According to the Cambodia Rice Federation, Cambodia exported 449,325 tonnes of milled rice to international markets in the first nine months of 2022, a 10 percent increase over the same period last year.
Additionally, China is the largest buyer of Cambodia's milled rice, purchasing 198,107 tonnes, or 44.09 percent of the Kingdom's total export amount.