- July 30, 2020 12:33 PM
- October 15, 2022 1:22 PM
- June 22, 2021 10:26 AM
PHNOM PENH – Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Dith Tina has urged farmers to apply for a discount electricity tariff designed to cut their costs.
Power for the agriculture sector can cost as little as 480 riels ($0.12) per kilowatt-hour (kWh) daily from 9pm to 7am. The normal price is 1,000 riels ($0.25).
The number of farmers using the reduced tariffs remains small and some are not aware of it or have problems with service providers, though there is no data on the number of farmers taking advantage of the savings.
Tina spoke of the issue at a discussion on “Electricity Consumption for Agriculture” on Nov. 14, joined by Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem, Electricity Authority of Cambodia (EAC) chairman Yim Piseth, and Electricite du Cambodge (EDC) director-general Keo Rattanak, as well as other agricultural community representatives.
The discussion aims to spread information about the tariffs more clearly.
The minister said farmers used to complain about electricity prices that affected their capital and expenses. In animal farming alone, farmers use about 12 million kWh, worth $2 million, per month.
“I’d like to raise an example of pig farming,” Tina said.
“The farmers have to put air conditioning in sheds if they want healthy pigs. This consumes electricity day and night. But, when they were asked if they had the reduced tariffs, they said they didn’t know about them,” Tina said.
Electricity authorities must do more to pass the information about the tariffs to farmers, he said.
To see a reduced tariff, an agriculture community must appoint a representative to make a request to the EAC or the local private provider, with approval and agreements from the local authority. An individual only has to ask the EAC or private providers and explain why there is a need for the tariff.
During the discussion, EDC’s Keo Rattanak said the government sells electricity at a reduced price for use in agriculture.
Minister of Mines Suy Sem said ministries have been working closely to reduce the price for farmers, with the Ministry of Planning providing adequate electricity resources, especially in rural areas.
Piseth said the Ministry of Mines and Energy established the 480 riels tariff in 2016 for consumers who used electricity to pump water overnight.
In 2021, the government decided to provide another tariff for agriculture activities such as crop and animal farming, fisheries, and productivity or processed products.
Originally written in Khmer for ThmeyThmey, this story was translated by Meng Seavmey for Cambodianess.