Longmate Agriculture is shipping banana containers to China through Vietnam to prepare for its first direct shipment to the East Asian giant, a company representative said.
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Longmate Agriculture, a joint venture of Chinese and local investors, is preparing a direct shipment of bananas to China. It will be the first time Cambodia exports the fruit to China.
According to Hun Lak, director of Longmate Agriculture, since Jan 8 the company has been sending a container a day to a port in Vietnam, from where they will be shipped to China.
“We are just testing the export procedure now. We have not exported directly to China yet,” he said, adding that before they send containers directly to China their bananas need to be checked by a delegation of Chinese experts, who will issue an export certificate.
“The Chinese experts will come to test the quality of our bananas in mid-February after Chinese New Year. Once they give us a certificate, we will be able to export directly and reduce costs,” he said.
“Why are we exporting to Vietnam now? Because Vietnam and China also reached an agreement on the shipment of bananas, so we want to export a small amount of bananas to test the market.
“We also want to build our image in Vietnam,” said Mr Lak.
Bananas will become the fourth agricultural product that Cambodia exports to the Chinese market, together with maize, cassava, and milled rice.
Cambodia and China reached a protocol on the exportation of bananas in August, effectively allowing Cambodia to ship the fruit to China. The agreement came after the two sides spent years negotiating on the issue.
Longmate Agriculture is now cultivating 400 hectares of land in Kampot province’s Chhouk district. It plans to grow the plantation to 1,000 hectares in the future.
The company will export about 25,000 tonnes of bananas this year and plans to double the figure in 2020.