The dissolution of the Salt Association of Kampot and Kep has been suspended, with the fate of the organisation now resting in the hands of officials at the Ministry of Industry and Handicrafts.
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The association’s dissolution was temporarily suspended following a meeting on Monday between national and provincial authorities, Bun Baraing, co-executive director of the Salt Association of Kampot and Kep, told Khmer Times.
At the meeting, it was agreed that a final decision on whether the association continues to exist will be made by high-ranking officials at the ministry.
“The ministry is doing everything in its power to solve the problem. It doesn’t want to see the association disappear,” Mr Baraing said.
No official date has been announced as to when the decision will be made.
“We are now waiting for the ministry’s final say on the matter,” he said.
The association recently submitted a letter of dissolution to local authorities after at least 30 percent of the members said they wanted out.
Mr Baraing said members wanted to leave the association because they believe non-members have higher profits.
“They decided to leave the association after they saw that some businessmen that are not part of the association were making more money than them.”
There are 200 families producing salt in 4,800 hectares on land in Kampot and Kep, according to Mr Baraing.
A sack of salt (around 50 kilograms) now sells for $2.5 to $3, Mr Baraing said. Last year, the commodity fetched $4.25 in the local market.
Salt production started in September and farmers started collecting at the end of December. According to Mr Baraing, there are no official figures regarding total output because disgruntled members refused to share their data.
The local market currently demands between 80,000 and 100,000 tonnes of the commodity a year.