May 21, 2013
PHNOM PENH -- Cambodia launched
Tuesday the second phase of cassava development project under the
support of China and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
at the launching ceremony, Teng Lao, secretary of state of Cambodian
Ministry of Agriculture, said the second phase of the project, which
will last until September 2014, was made possible with the funding of
400,000 U.S. dollars from China. "It aims to help a core group of
cassava farmers, processors and exporters to meet the quality and
quantity requirements to be able to export more processed cassava to
China, thus generating more revenue and employment opportunities for
Cambodian smallholders in rural areas,"he said.
China signed a Protocol on the Exports of Cambodian Cassava to Chinese
Market in December 2010, under which China allowed Cambodia to export
its standardized cassava chips to China.
Teng Lao said cassava is
the second agricultural crop in Cambodia and plays a very important
role in Cambodia's agriculture and economic development.
last year, the country grew cassava crop on an area of 337,440 hectares,
producing about 8 million tons of fresh cassava. "About 50 percent of
fresh cassava, 40 percent of dry cassava and 10 percent of cassava
powder were sold to Vietnam and Thailand, "he said."And Vietnam and
Thailand re-sell those cassava products to international markets,
Agriculture official and project coordinator
Ratana Norng said the cassava sector might generate between 200-300
million U.S. dollars worth of"informal"export revenues a year.
Zhouxiang, first secretary at the department of international trade and
economic affairs at China's Ministry of Commerce, said at the event
that in the first phase of the project, China had contributed 212,000
U.S. dollars to support 30 Cambodian officials to train in China's
Hainan province on the cassava cultivation techniques in late 2011 and
"Based on the successful results of the first
phase, the second phase project will help move Cambodian producers,
processors and exporters of cassava up the value chain," she said."It is
our hope that this project will contribute to the Cambodia' s efforts
in capacity building, economic diversification and poverty reduction. "
Yamazaki, country director of UNDP to Cambodia, said that currently,
Cambodian cassava farmers, processors and exporters are facing enormous
constraints such as price distortions in neighboring countries, lack of
information on price and quality criteria of importing markets and lack
of access to technology. "Though cassava has become the second largest
agricultural crop in term of income, employment, hectares cultivated and
exports, there is very little technical assistance support provided to
the sector,"she said.
She added that under the project, UNDP
would give particular attention to environment sustainability of cassava
cultivation, improved standard quality to promote raw and processed
cassava exports to China and the ultimate benefits and sustainability
for the poor.
Setsuko said Cambodia is now the seventh largest
producer of cassava in Asia and projected that the country would move to
the fifth largest producer following Thailand, Indonesia, India and
China by 2018.