Cambodia is about to seal a fresh banana deal with China this Thursday, opening the doors for the private sector to have a go at the Chinese market.
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Hean Vanhan, director-general of the General Directorate of Agriculture, said local farmers and exporters interested in the Chinese market will have to follow strict guidelines.
“The banana planters and exporters have to follow strict guidelines for the sanitary and phytosanitary standards required in China,” Mr Vanhan said.
Exports to China were on hold during the three-year talks due to technical issues related to these requirements.
Mr Vanhan said the local green bananas do not meet the requirements of the Chinese market when it comes to quality and taste, adding that Cambodia will import yellow banana seeds from China and the Philippines as a substitute.
He said Cambodia already exports bananas grown in Ratanakkiri to Vietnam, though he explained the plantations are owned by a Vietnamese company. The fruit is also planted in Kratie and Kampot provinces.
Mr Vanhan said he did not have any figures regarding the number of hectares used for banana cultivation in the country.
Bananas will become the fourth agricultural product shipped from Cambodia to China, following maize, cassava, and milled rice.