Rice price on the upswing: RBD

Sum Manet / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Local rice for sale at a market in Phnom Penh. KT/Mai Vireak

The Rural Development Bank (RDB) said yesterday the price of white rice has recovered slightly from a steep decline that was threatening the livelihoods of farmers.

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According to RBD, the crop is once again “profitable.”

Earlier this week, officials of the Ministry of Commerce visited major rice-producing areas – including Battambang, Kampong Thom, Kampong Cham, Prey Veng and Takeo – to gather information on the price of white rice, after a number of complaints from farmers claiming that the value of the commodity was in sharp decline.

After its investigation, the ministry concluded the price had dropped by 15 percent.

However, RDB said yesterday that after a number of successful measures were implemented by local and national authorities, the price of the commodity is now back to profitable levels.

“Prices are good and profitable for farmers, particularly if we take into consideration the average expenses involved in growing rice,” RBD said in a statement yesterday, adding that it now costs around $700 to cultivate a hectare of paddy fields, including the cost of fertilizers, labour and transportation to storage facilities.

“Generally speaking, yields have increased by an average of six tonnes per hectare.

“Moreover, the current price for a kilogram of rice is 800 riel, so revenue per hectare is 4,800,000 riel (about $1,200). With an average cost of 2,800,000 riel (about $700), farmers are earning on average 2,000,000 riel (about $500) per hectare,” it added.

According to RDB, in Kampong Thom a kilo of white rice sells for 790-800 riel. In Kandal province, it costs 800-830 riel, while in Takeo, the price is 800-850 riel, and Prey Veng 790-800 riel.

During the first six months of 2018, Cambodia exported 271,537 tonnes of rice, a 5.9 percent drop, according to the Secretariat of One Window Service for Rice Export.

China continues to be the top buyer of Cambodian rice, followed by France, Poland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

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