An Australian government-sponsored group has come up with a list of nine high-value Cambodian crops. The study by the Cambodia-Australia Agricultural Value Chain (CAVAC) identified mangoes, lentils, cashews, peppers, sweet potatoes, avocados, sesame, palm sugar and dried bananas as prime products.
The list is targeted at the public, farmers, processors and those with stakes in the Cambodian agricultural sector. Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak announced the cream of the crop in a video ceremony.
The government is hoping to increase demand in key markets such as Australia, New Zealand, Europe, China and ASEAN and find new buyers elsewhere. It aims to increase environmentally-friendly trade to support its policy of reducing poverty and developing the economy.CAVAC’s work on making Cambodian agriculture more competitive includes the use of cashless payments for irrigation fees and the promotion of processing by-products such as biochar, which is produced by burning organic material without oxygen at high temperatures to be mixed with soil. CAVAC also promotes low-cost direct seeding technology and helps the public and private sectors work together on irrigation schemes. During the ceremony Sorasak outlined the commerce ministry’s achievements, including the signing of free trade agreements with China and South Korea, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP), which is expected to come into force next year creating the world’s biggest trading bloc and the implementation of the Cambodia Industrial Development Policy 2015-2025, which aims to promote the country’s industrial development to help maintain sustainable and inclusive high economic growth through economic diversification, strengthening competitiveness and promoting productivity.