Between January and May, Cambodia witnessed a significant export of over 1.2 million tonnes of cassava products to Vietnam and Thailand. Vietnam received approximately 350,000 tonnes, while Thailand welcomed nearly 830,000 tonnes.
Emphasizing the prevalence of cassava exports to Thailand, Im Rachana, spokesperson for the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, disclosed that the majority of Cambodia’s cassava exports were directed there. Fresh cassava accounted for 751,600 tonnes, cassava chips for 71,250 tonnes, and cassava pulp for 7,100 tonnes. In contrast, Vietnam imported 184,860 tonnes of fresh cassava, 124,750 tonnes of cassava chips, and 39,800 tonnes of cassava pulp.
On July 5, Heng Sithy from the Battambang provincial agriculture department informed that farmers had begun planting new cassava crops. The cassava harvested in February 2023 originated from the previous year’s yield, while the remaining stock was reserved for export. Sithy explained that although Battambang province aimed for a target of 130,000 tonnes, cassava cultivation had only reached slightly over 70,000 tonnes by July due to ongoing farming practices.
Sithy highlighted the impact of climate change on the new cassava season, a concern supported by reports from district production offices. Em Sophoan, owner of Silo Hing Sophoan in Battambang province, expressed worries about reduced purchases during this year’s harvest. She noted that Thai traders had signed fewer contracts due to decreased orders from China. Moreover, Cambodian farmers were shifting their focus to cultivating more corn, given its higher market value compared to cassava.
Chan Vanny, a cassava farmer in Snoeng commune of Battambang province’s Banan district, shed light on the varying harvesting times for different cassava varieties. While some can be harvested after eight months, others require a full year. However, most farmers in her area preferred the one-year varieties as they are preferred by consumers in Thailand. Vanny also discussed the challenges faced by cassava farmers due to drought, which affected the growth of cassava but did not cause significant damage. She remained hopeful that with the arrival of traders, cassava production would recover.
Earlier this year, during the “Cambodia-China Trade and Investment Promotion in Guangxi Province” forum, the director-general of trade promotion, under the Ministry of Commerce, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chinese representatives. The MoU aimed to enhance trade promotion cooperation and facilitate the entry of potential Cambodian products into the Chinese market. Furthermore, it targeted a boost in the export of 400,000 tonnes of dried Cambodian cassava to China in the years 2022-23.