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Guidelines for fruit exports near completion

Sok Chan / Khmer Times Share:
A local farmer harvests mangoes. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Step-by-step guidelines for exporting fresh bananas, mangoes and longan fruits to China will be ready this month following final reviews from the Ministry of Agriculture and Germany’s international development organisation GIZ.

Speaking at a workshop yesterday in Phnom Penh, Florian Miss, manager of GIZ’s programme Support for Economic Cooperation in Sub-regional Initiatives in Asia (SCSI), said a lot of input was added to the guidelines in March.

“Therefore, the General Directorate of Agriculture and GIZ, together with the relevant stakeholders, are finalising the draft copy that will be made available this month.

“Since Cambodia and China signed a protocol to export bananas to China early this month we had to update the guidelines again,” he said, adding that “we are trying to simplify the export procedures.”

He said the idea is to simplify the information on what type of documents both sides need, who are the contact points, what are the requirements and from which ministries they are from, as well as the transport and logistics companies involved.

“We are also compiling export guidelines for mangoes, longan and fresh bananas which are the fruits that have the biggest potential in Cambodia for exports,” he said.

GIZ country director Guenter Riethmacher said the workshop could not have come at a better time, with the Cambodian and Chinese governments recently signing an agreement that allows the shipment of Cambodian bananas to the biggest market in the world.

He said this was great news for Cambodian exporters.

“It seems we created good momentum together. Let’s use it to improve Cambodian exports to China,” Mr Riethmacher said.

Hean Vanhan, director of the General Department of Agriculture, said it was important for exporters and farmers to follow the guidelines as this will help them improve their grasp of export procedures.

“We signed a protocol with China for banana exports, but we started exporting longan in late 2017 without any protocol in place. Currently, we have four companies growing bananas and exporting to China,” he said.

Kheang Sreng, a mango farmer with 90 hectares of land planted with mango trees in Kampong Speu, said the guidelines are important as they detail the entire export process, from license requirements to farming, packaging and transportation.

“I am considering using the guidelines in my mango export business to China,” Mr Sreng said. “Usually, I sell my mangoes to an intermediary, who supplies to Vietnam and Thailand.”

According to GIZ, in 2016 China imported one million tonnes of fresh bananas, amounting to $579 million, from the Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, Australia, Peru and Ecuador. It also imported 5,126 tonnes of mangoes ($19 million) and 528,785 tonnes of longan fruits ($438 million).

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