Cambodian milled rice has passed quality and food hygiene tests for export to China.
A delegation of Chinese experts inspected the quality and safety at 27 rice mills during a week-long visit, said Hean Vanhan, director-general of the agriculture department at the Agriculture Ministry.
The result of the checks, Mr. Vanhan said, will allow selected millers to export rice to China.
“We have an export quota of rice to China at about 200,000 tons per year, but China wants to make sure the imported rice from Cambodia meets their requirement in terms of quality and the absence of pests,” he said.
The Ministry of Agriculture earlier sent out reports on the 27 quality rice mills for the Chinese government to check after the ministry inspected 60 rice mills which had applied to export rice to China.
Last December, China asked Cambodia to evaluate its rice exporters to determine whether they adhered to the hygiene laws in China, because officials in the world’s second-largest economy did not trust all of the 71 rice exporters registered with the Ministry of Commerce.
“All of the rice millers they have checked are of high enough quality to meet their requirement. Therefore only those rice millers are allowed to export rice to China,” Mr. Vanhan said.
China is one of Cambodia’s big markets for milled rice.
In September, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen at the sidelines of the Asean Summit in Laos, pledged to double China’s annual purchase of 100,000 tons of Cambodian rice to 200,000 tons, starting next year. China also pledged a loan of $300 million to Cambodia’s rice millers for building warehouses with drying facilities.
China also gave assurances that it will grant greater access for Cambodia’s agricultural products to enter its markets.
Cambodia exported up to 100,000 tons of rice to China from January to November, while total exports of rice in the period increased five percent to nearly 480,000 tons, government figures say.
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