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CRF reaffirms commitment to 1m-tonne rice export goal

Sok Chan / Khmer Times Share:
A worker uses a forklift to move sacks of rice at a warehouse in Phnom Penh. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The new board of the Cambodia Rice Federation yesterday vowed to grow the country’s rice exports to one million tonnes a year by 2022.

During the first meeting of the association since new leadership was elected last week, board members pledged to turn Cambodian rice into a globally recognisable brand and make the industry more sustainable, fair and transparent.

Song Saran, who is now the association’s president, said the priority will be to achieve one million tonnes in rice exports a year within the next three years.

“CRF’s new vision is to bring global recognition to Cambodian rice,” Mr Saran said. “We will set up policies and action plans to achieve this target and place Cambodian rice on the global map.

“We must also work to ensure sustainability, equality and responsible farming principles in the industry. To this end, we will issue policies and action plans for the next three and five-year periods,” Mr Saran, who is also the CEO of Amru Rice, added.

The one-million-tonne target was set up by the government in 2015. However, Cambodia has failed to achieve it, with exports amounting to just 620,000 tonnes last year.

The association restructured its leadership during an annual meeting held week.

All 25 CRF board members yesterday agreed to work towards the one-million-tonne goal, including Hun Lak, who last week became chairman and will be responsible for the legislative unit.

Yesterday’s discussion touched on a myriad of topics: expanding to new markets and strengthening existing ones, contract farming, enhancing cooperation among all industry actors, and meeting the quota for the Chinese market, among others.

Chan Sokheang, CEO of Signatures of Asia and a CRF board member, said, “We will work together to achieve the one-million-tonne target. Everyone wants to see this done.

“We must work as one to build a strong rice industry in Cambodia,” Mr Sokheang added.

The country’s exports of milled rice rose 3.7 percent during the first seven months of the year to reach 308,013 tonnes. China continues to be the Kingdom’s biggest market, purchasing 123,361 tonnes from January to July, a 40 percent increase.

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