Khmer Times/Un Raksmey
Tuesday, 21 July 2015
PHNOM PENH (Khmer Times) – Mango exporters in Kampong Speu province are gaining traction in Asian markets and expect overseas deliveries to increase by 50 percent in the coming season.
In Chhay Van, president of the Kampong Speu Mango Association, projects that the association’s members will export nearly 150,000 tons of mangoes during the upcoming season, which runs October through May.
If achieved, it would mark a significant increase over the last season, which saw 100,000 tons of mango shipments.
“Nowadays, we have only two markets for our mangoes, Thailand and Vietnam, [which import] even though they have huge amounts of their own mangoes,” Mr. Chhay Van said.
The association is pushing to open new regional markets, and the Cambodian government is currently negotiating with China and South Korea to secure new export contracts.
“South Korea requires that products undergo mechanical food safety inspections before entering the market, but we can export to China directly if an agreement is reached,” Mr. Chhay Van said.
Cambodia has about 60,000 hectares of mangoes under cultivation – more than enough to satisfy domestic demand and sustain a growing export market. But finding overseas markets has proven a challenge.
Mr. Chhay Van said the main impediment is poor education among the farmers who plant and tend to the trees. There are also a limited number of experts to solve problems, which leads to quality control issues and impedes export growth.
He said opening new markets in China and South Korea would catapult the crop’s export volume.
“Our exports are increasing by 30 to 50 percent every year, and even while there are some problems, if we have more markets our exports will grow faster still,” he added.