Cambodia exported its first shipment of 100 tonnes of yellow bananas to China via Vietnam on Saturday, said a Ministry of Agriculture official.
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“This shipment of bananas is a first for Cambodia and these yellow bananas can be stored for up to 3 months after harvest in a room with refrigeration,” said Hean Vanhan, director-general of the Agriculture Ministry’s general directorate of agriculture.
“The 100 tonnes of yellow bananas from Anh Andong Meas Company’s plantations, in Sambor district in Ratanakkiri province, were exported in five refrigerated containers,” he added.
Mr Vanhan said Cambodia had negotiated with Vietnam to allow the shipment to transit in the country before it reaches China.
“There are other types of bananas besides the yellow ones, but they can’t be exported. They can only be stored for three days,” he said.
Three banana species – yellow, sugar and green – are all widely grown in Cambodia.
According to Mr Vanhan, Anh Andong Meas grows yellow bananas on 1,000 hectares of land.
“In total, the company has 10,000 hectares planted with all kinds of fruits for export.”
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is also encouraging mango farmers to export their fruit harvests to South Korea.
South Korea has not placed a limit on the amount of mangoes it will import from Cambodia but requires suppliers to upgrade their processing facilities by installing steaming technology to eradicate insects that may be on the fruit or inside packaging.
A local subsidiary of Hyundai Corporation, the South Korean conglomerate, is sinking $4 million into developing a processing and distribution centre in Cambodia for mangoes and other fruits.
Fresh Keo Romeat mangoes from Cambodia are popular in neighbouring Thailand and are exported daily from Kampong Speu and northwestern Battambang through the Pong Namron border crossing in the eastern Thai province of Chantaburi.