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Thailand issues new rules for cassava imports

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times Share:
Thailand is imposing stricter requirements for cassava importers that may hurt companies in Cambodia. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Thailand has issued new regulations for the importation and transportation of cassava products in the country that may affect Cambodian exporters and producers.

According to a statement from the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Thailand has put in place a new set of conditions for importing and transporting dried, fresh and powder cassava which must be met by all companies.

Cassava exporters are now required to secure an import permit from Thailand’s department of agriculture as well as a phytosanitary certificate.

The vehicles used for transportation must be cleaned before loading the cassava and any other product must be removed.

If Thai customs officials find exporters in violation of any of these regulations, the cargo will be sent back, the statement said.

Ngin Chhay, director-general of General Directorate of Agriculture, who signed the statement, could not be reached for comment.

Hun Lyhoeun, director of Drycorpkh Cambodia, a cassava trading company in Battambang’s Rattanak Mondol district, said the new rules are part of a wider strategy to reduce cassava imports as Thai farmers prepare for harvest.

“This is just a strategy from Thai authorities to reduce imports of cassava products to the country. When farmers finish harvesting, they will ease these restrictions,” Mr Lyhoeun said.

Cambodian farmers will be particularly affected by the measures, Mr Lyhoeun added.

Fresh cassava now sells for $50-$57.5 per tonne, according to Mr Lyhoeun.

A cassava-processing factory will come online next month in Kratie province. The $20-million plant is an investment of Hong Kong-based Green Leader and will be able to produce 130 tonnes of starch a year.

In 2018, Cambodia exported 1.08 million tonnes of cassava, according to a report from the ministry.

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