“The agriculture sector today is still playing significant role in promoting local production growth, job creation, and contributing to the poverty reduction of the people. At the same time, the agriculture sector will continue the basic role for economic growth and socio-economic development in Cambodia in the coming decades although Cambodia has diversified her economy, including industrialization”, Samdech Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia said last week. …
“The growth in agricultural sector is not only improving our economy but also transforming the red dry land to become the green area in all seasons, as well as allowing our youths in rural area to be employed, reducing migration, and improving their livelihood.”
According to the report made by H.E Chan Sarun, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the agriculture sector has grown in average about 4.3% in 2012, in which the rice production was about 3 million hectares, and the land of 2.98 million hectares could be cultivated, and the average yield per year in both dry and rainy seasons is 3.117 tons per hectares. …
“We have also expected that this poverty rate will further decline to under 19% in 2013. In the future, we will try our best to drag down the poverty rate until the elimination of the poverty through the continued development of agriculture and economic diversification.” …
To impose no land tax is like helping them right in the field. For example, they need to spend one or two hundred thousand Riel per hectare as tax. “When we do not charge tax from them, they could use the money for something else, like purchasing a bicycle for their kids or other agricultural utensils.” …
The South East Asia Weekly Staff
The production of animal feed may be lucrative for family-run businesses, but production is failing to meet the local market’s demand, said industry experts.
Ros Limhy, National Agriculture adviser for the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ Tonle Sap Poverty Reduction and Smallholder Development project, and animal welfare and production specialist, said that despite a growing number of local livestock companies, most feeds in Cambodia are imported and costs are higher than local production costs. …
The Ministry of Agriculture will request that Prime Minister Hun Sen from now on revoke all economic land concessions (ELC) whose owners are found guilty of illegal logging or other major forestry crimes, a ministry official said yesterday. …
Ben Woods and Aun Pheap, P.17
Yong Yim’s voice rises to a high-pitched quiver when she talks about a planned dam in the Areng Valley that would inundate land her family has inhabited for hundreds of years to form what amounts to a giant battery. …
Now they are staring at forced relocation again, their ancestral homelands all but doomed to become yet another area on the fringes of the Central Cardamom Protected Forest (CCPF) to be devastated by the effects of hydropower dams. To date, there are three dam projects, some with multiple stations, under way on the boundaries of the CCPF. …
Lee, an engineer working on one of those projects, the Stung Tatai, told the Post late last month plans to begin construction of the bitterly opposed Cheay Areng dam were moving ahead rapidly.
“I spoke with the project leader of the Cheay Areng dam recently, and he said that next month [February] representatives from the company will meet with the Cambodian government to discuss the project,” Lee, who spoke on the condition his full name would not be printed, said. …
Previous studies conducted for the firm China Southern Power Grid, which dumped the project because they deemed it unfeasible, suggest that a 109-megawatt dam would be fed by a 20,000-hectare reservoir. …
Roughly 10,000 hectares of this reservoir would cover forest directly within the CCPF, the largest single encroachment to date on what is one of Cambodia’s last remaining well-protected conservation zones. The remaining 10,000 hectares of the reservoir would inundate the forest homelands of the Khmer Daeum. …
Tracey Farrell, senior technical director for Conservation International-Cambodia, which supports conservation programs in the CCPF, said in an email that a previous environmental impact assessment had found that the dam “failed to meet the minimum power density ratio of more than 100 watts/m2 of surface area of the reservoir”. …
There is no separating logging from land grabbing – the two issues are linked in a chain that starts with the selective logging of luxury timber (often, in the case of the CCPF, after a company is legally granted the right to clear a dam reservoir). It ends with migrants who are enticed to the area as manual labour vying with companies and powerful individuals to clear fell the remaining trees − the former seeking a livelihood, the latter seeking huge profits from large-scale agriculture. …
May Titthara, David Boyle and Danson Cheong
The government has slashed about 250,000 hectares of land from 79 economic land concessions (ELCs), forest concessions and wildlife protection concessions and will return it, replete with land titles, to “poor people”, January’s Royal Book says.
The publication, issued on January 17 and obtained yesterday, says the government has asked King Norodom Sihamoni to issue a sub-decree reclaiming the land in 19 provinces from 37 companies including Pheapimex, Casotim and TTY, which are locked in disputes with villagers.
“This is about giving land back to the people,” a line from the Royal Book states, echoing recent statements by Prime Minister Hun Sen. …
After a string of protests, including one in which TTY-hired guards shot four villagers, Hun Sen placed a moratorium on the granting of land concessions last May, although some continued to be granted because of a clause that allowed concessions already in the works to proceed. …
It is unclear how many people will benefit from the land returns, but Kuch Veng, a representative of Kbal Trach commune, in Pursat province’s Krakor district, said student volunteers had already issued land titles to villagers in a dispute with Pheapimex, a company owned by Choeung Sopheap, the wife of Cambodian People’s Party senator Lao Meng Khin. …
May Titthara and Shane Worrell
Representatives of a massive hydropower dam project in Stung Treng province’s Sesan district approached local authorities late last month informing them that the government had granted the company permission to clear 36,000 hectares of land for a reservoir, officials said on Sunday.
The 400-megawatt Lower Sesan 2 dam planned on the confluence of the Sesan and Srepok rivers and approved by the Council of Ministers in November will displace about 5,000 villagers, who have yet to receive any information related to their resettlement. …
“I would like to inform the commune chief that our company has received a license from the government to clear and start construction of the reservoir area that will be 36,000 hectares, and that right now, our company may begin to clear the forestland,” Mr. Mekong said, reading from the letter signed by Mr. Meng. …
Meach Mean, a coordinator for 3S Rivers Protection Network, said that information on this project—which is slated to start this year—has been extremely sparse, from resettlement plans to the construction start date.
“The company should make clear what steps or what process or what plan they are working on,” he said. …
Khuon Narim and Dene Hern Chen
Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday said more investment in agriculture was needed to
ensure that Cambodia can process its crops and add value to agricultural produce being
Speaking at the inauguration of a new cargo port in Kandal province, Mr. Hun Sen said there was an oversupply in this year’s rice and cassava harvests, leading prices in the market to fall. “I want to raise some points that relate to production and processing that were absolutely our mistake, that the speed of production grew too fast, and supply was more than we expected,” he said. …
According to figures from the CamControl department inside the Ministry of Commerce, cassava exports more than doubled from 277,000 tons in 2011 to 722,000 tons in 2012.
Phok Dorn, P.21
Cambodia exported more than 200,000 tons of milled rice in 2012, the greatest yield on record, though well short of the government target to export 1 million tons by 2015.
Speaking at the Ministry of Agriculture’s annual meeting in Phnom Penh, Agriculture Minister Chan Sarun said that the yield of unprocessed paddy rice in the 2012 to 2013 harvest season had grown by roughly 6 percent to 9.13 million tons, up from 8.8 million tons the previous season. …
Sun Mesa and Simon Lewis, P.19
As Cambodia’s rice harvest gets into full swing, the government said yesterday that it expects this year’s crop to exceed last year’s, despite fears that drought would limit the yield.
Minister of Agriculture Chan Sarun said that farmers had already harvested more than 3 million tons of rice paddy since last month, when the harvest began. “We cannot predict by how many percent the rice yield will increase because it’s too early and they are in the process of harvesting,” Mr. Sarun said, adding that 350,000 more hectares of paddy were planted this year compared with last year. …
Khuon Narim, P.21
Following the release of the country’s first nationwide economic census earlier this year, the government is now planning to carry out a similar census dedicated to the agriculture sector, a government official said yesterday.
Minister of Agriculture Chan Sarun announced the government’s intention to carry out the census while speaking at the National Assembly on Tuesday. …
Phok Dorn, P. 19
http://www.camnet.com.kh/cambodia.daily/ (Note: Infrequently Updated.)
Despite a slow start for milled-rice exports in 2012 brought on by falling regional prices, officials yesterday predicted Cambodian shipments would more than double to 400,000 tonnes this year.
Tax exemptions from Europe, which boosted milled-rice exports to about 173,000 tonnes last year, would continue to help the sector, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Chan Sarun said yesterday at a ministry meeting. …
Sieam Bunthy, P. 7
A carbon credit project is in the works for the Seima biodiversity areas in Kartie and Mondulkiri provinces. During a meeting between Chan Sarun, Minister of Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries and Colin Poole, Director of Asia Programs for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WLCS) on Sept 15, it was decided that the carbon credit project will cover Seima area and experts will be sent to study and make an assessment for the project sometime in the middle of next year. The protection plan for the biodiversity areas in both provinces will ensure the protection of animals, and promote tree growing, eco-tourism sites and resorts.
p 27, vol 5, no 96
A Chinese animal feed mill officially opened at the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone (PPSEZ) on Aug 28. It is the first animal feed mill from China and the fifth animal feed factory to operate in Cambodia
Cambodia has strongly depended on the imports for animal feed, because of strong demand and low supply…
According to MAFF, the demand for animal feed is currently about 700,000 tons per year in Cambodia, but the country can produce only 170,000 tons a year.
“The mill would be capable to produce about 57,000 tons a year, so it would increase the supply of animal feed locally and can reduce the reliance on imports,” Chan Sarun [Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries] said…
The Sichuan New Hope Agribusiness (Cambodi) is a joint-venture between China’s New Hope Group, which holds a 90 percent stake and Japan’s animal feed Sojitz Corporation, which owns the remainder, said Deng Xiaohua, a manager of China’s New Hope Group.
The construction of the Sichuan New Hope Agribusiness (Cambodia) mill started in early 2011 on the land of 33,500 square meters and completed last month, costing US$6 million. It currently employs about 100 Cambodian workers, said Deng…
(p 25, Vol 5, No 95)
Rubber production in Cambodia is expected to increase by 245,500 tons per year by 2020, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF). MAFF Minister Chan Sarun said on Aug 30 that Cambodia will have 365,000 hectares for rubber production as the amount of available land increased by 181,040 hectares in the first six months of 2011. In the first six months of 2011, 21,511 tons of rubber worth US$1,022 million were exported abroad. Rubber was introduced to Cambodia in 1910 on 150 hectares of land in Kampot’s Prey Tob area during French colonial rule.
(p 28, Vol 5, No 95)
A group from the Japanese Fish Rearing Association led by Kazuki Nishimura met with Chan Sarun, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. During the meeting Kazuki Nishimura told the minister that the Japanese Fish Rearing Association wished to introduce Japanese fresh water fish (Nishiki Koi) in Cambodia, which is the first country chosen for Nishiki Koi fhish crossbreed. Chan Sarun welcomed and supported the association’s intentions, which he said will further help to boost Cambodia’s development as well as poverty reduction for the Cambodian people…In the first six months of this year Cambodia has yielded 377,500 tons of fish including 292,500 tons of fresh water fish, 47,000 tons of maritime fish, and 38,000 tons of raised fish. There has reportedly been a strong crackdown on illegal fishing this year.
(p 27 Vol 5, No 95)
Agriculture Ministry officials said yesterday that they would soon complete a new law to regulate and support the creation of farmers’ cooperatives. They said the law would allow farmers to organize cooperatives, which could improve their market position and allow access to financial and technical support. A cooperative can be formed by at least 25 persons working in farming and agricultural business, all of whom have to buy in to raise capital for the organization, according to the draft.
(Chhorn Chansy and Paul Vrieze, pg. 31)
http://www.camnet.com.kh/cambodia.daily/ (Note: Infrequently Updated.)
Phnom Penh–The first Chinese animal feed mill officially inaugurated here on Sunday, bringing the number of the same kind of factories in the country to five, said Cambodian Minister of Agriculture.
“The factory is a new achievement of good cooperation between the governments and the peoples of Cambodia and China,” the minister Chan Sarun said during the inauguration of the Sichuan New Hope Agribusiness (Cambodia), situated in the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone, some 18 kilometers west of the central Phnom Penh.
“The mill is very important to boost the development of the country’s animal feeding industry,” he said.
The minister said that currently the demand of animal feed is about 700,000 tons per year, but the four full-functioning factories can produce only 170,000 tons a year, so the rest is imported.
(Editor: Zhang Xiang)
China National Cereal, Oil and Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO) is the latest mainland Chinese company to sign a deal to export Cambodian rice.
COFCO is one of a number of Chinese companies that have signed similar deals with their Cambodian counterparts, but direct rice exports to China are yet to begin in earnest.
“The Chinese are very strict on quality,” Phou Puy, president of the Federation of Rice Millers Associations and the Baitong Rice Export Company, said.
“So far, we haven’t received any updated information on the inspect-ions from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. But I know their delegation will come to test our quality soon.”
Plans for a Cambodian rice-testing laboratory, required by Chinese inspectors to allow Cambodian imports, are also under way.
(Don Weinland and May Kunmakara, p.1)