Receiving Geographical Indication (GI) status has done little to increase sales of Koh Trong Pomelo outside Kratie province, farmers said.
The pomelo grown in Kratie’s Koh Trong commune last year became the third Cambodian product to obtain GI status, following in the footsteps of Kampot pepper and Kampong Speu’s palm sugar.
The fruit, however, has not gained much in popularity outside the province since, according to the Koh Trong Pomelo Producer Association, who owns 1,200 of the 2,000 pomelo trees in Koh Trong.
Most of the pomelos grown in Koh Trong are still consumed within Kratie, according to Bun Ban, vice president of the Koh Trong Pomelo Producer Association.
He said the fruit cannot be found for sale in any establishment in Phnom Penh, adding that people in the capital that want to taste the fruit have to contact a seller in Kratie directly.
Mr Ban said the reason the fruit has not become popular outside Kratie is that it has not been promoted.
“Pomelos are not for sale in any market or supermarket in Phnom Penh because these establishments simply do not know about them. No effort to promote them has been done,” Mr Ban told Khmer Times on Tuesday.
According to Mr Ban, Koh Trong pomelos sell for about $3.5 per fruit, which is higher than the average price for a non-GI pomelo (about $2.25 per fruit).
Koh Trong pomelos are harvested twice a year – in October-November and March-April.
“Our goal is to start selling in Phnom Penh. We must find ways of improving our marketing and promotion activities so that more Cambodians can taste the fruit,” Mr Ban said.
The pomelo is a citrus fruit, similar in appearance to a large grapefruit, native to South and Southeast Asia.
The Ministry of Commerce applied for GI status for Koh Trong pomelo with the World Intellectual Property Organisation aiming to “protect the identity of the product and diversify Cambodia’s agricultural exports.”
Cambodia now has more than 20 products that could earn GI certification in the future, including Kampot salt, Kampot durian, Banteay Meanchey’s Phnom Srok silk, Battambang’s fragrant milled rice and prahok.