Banana Exporter Leads The Way In The Chinese Market

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Beong Ket Rubber Plantation Company has started banana shipments to the Chinese market, becoming one of the first local companies to export the fruit to the East Asian giant.

Agriculture experts believe the Chinese market can be very lucrative for local banana exporters. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The company is shipping through Vietnam, with direct exports to China barred until it obtains a certificate from the Chinese government.

Beong Ket Rubber Plantation Company is one of the first companies in the Kingdom sending bananas to China and is leading the way for many other local firms eying the Chinese market.

In August, the governments of Cambodia and China signed a deal that allows the shipment of Cambodian bananas to the biggest market in the world.

Earlier this month, Khmer Times reported that Longmate Agriculture, a joint venture of Chinese and local investors, was also sending banana containers to China through Vietnam.

Beong Ket Rubber Plantation Company has invested $8 million in 500 hectares of banana plantations in Kampong Cham province. During the first phase of development plans for the land, the company is cultivating 100 hectares.

It plans to expand to 1,500 hectares in the future to meet the increasing demand for the commodity in China, a company representative said.

Minister of Agriculture Veng Sakhon said the shipments are a significant development for the country’s trade sector.

“This is the result of the ministry’s efforts to boost domestic production, add value, create more jobs, and reduce the poverty rate,” Mr Sakhon said.

Srey Vuthy, spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture, said all banana shipments to China must be made through a third country, as direct shipments are barred until a group of experts from China visits the Kingdom to inspect local banana farms.

“There are a few companies that are exporting indirectly and others that have conducted test shipments, but all these are informal exports as direct exports are not allowed yet,” Mr Vuthy said. “Before we send bananas directly to China, Chinese officials must carry out sanitary and phytosanitary inspections of local banana farms.”

Mr Vuthy added that the team of Chinese experts that will carry out the inspections is expected to arrive next month.

This article was originally published in the Khmer Times.