Cambodia launches policy to boost cassava production, export

Photo released by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Cambodia on Jan . 14, 2021 shows workers processing fresh cassava root at a factory in Battambang province, Cambodia. (Photo: Xinhua)
  • Xinhua
  • January 15, 2021 4:41 AM

PHNOM PENH-- Cambodia on Thursday launched a new national cassava policy aiming to boost the production and export of the cash crop.

Launched by the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the landmark national policy runs until 2025.

The planting, harvesting, processing and export of cassava is key to securing jobs and livelihoods for thousands of Cambodians and is a vital cash crop for farmers, said a joint press statement, adding that Cambodia is the fourth largest cassava producer in Asia and the 10th largest globally.

Over 12 million tons of fresh cassava root was harvested this year and the new policy will boost and diversify its growth and exports in the coming years, the statement said.

"Cassava is key to Cambodia's socioeconomic development and to reap the full rewards in future, we aim to upgrade the value chain by strengthening capacities and moving quickly to secure emerging market opportunities," Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak said.

"The policy will position cassava at the center of our efforts to develop Cambodia's agro-industrial sector and aims to enlarge the economic base to help meet the Royal Government of Cambodia's development goals to 2030 and 2050," he added.

Mam Amnot, secretary of state of the Ministry of Agriculture, said that with the production of 12 million tons per year, cassava is an industrial crop which carries a full potential for farmers' livelihood improvement and export.

The launch of the policy marks the beginning of a new journey in Cambodia's agribusiness development for inclusive growth, poverty reduction and the realization of the government's Industrial Development Policy 2015-2025.

"Cassava offers good opportunities for Cambodia, especially if it can move up value chains to export processed products such as starch. That requires good contract farming relationship between processors and farmers growing cassava to create consistent and high-quality supply," Nick Beresford, UNDP resident representative in Cambodia, said.

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