A partnership between Cambodian and Australian enterprises as well as Cambodian government representation have signed a deal to drive food-processing innovations through small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The Khmer Times reported that the Khmer Enterprise, a unit under the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), Cambodia Australia Agricultural Value Chain Program (CAVAC), and the Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC) signed the agreement this week.
Cambodian agri-food processing
Most of what Cambodia produces locally is not processed and the raw agri-products are exported. The partnership aims to “help the agricultural-processing industry grow and attract additional domestic and international investment.”
Dr Vanmunin Chhieng, chief executive officer of Khmer Enterprise (KE) said: “In addition to agri-food product development support, SME entrepreneurs can also access other KE (Khmer Enterprise) programmes such as capacity upgrading and co-investment opportunities.”
Pablo Kang, the Australian ambassador to Cambodia, added: “We are now pleased to be collaborating with Khmer Enterprise and ITC to build the foundations for a high-quality food product industry in Cambodia, led by small and medium Cambodian enterprises”.
Through the partnership, KE and CAVAC will “provide raw materials, technical expertise and financial assistance to participating SMEs.” The ITC will “provide additional technical expertise and offer its facilities to support the agri-food processing development process.”
Cambodian agriculture sector
The Cambodian agriculture sector accounts for around 22 per cent of the gross domestic products (GDP) of the Kingdom.
Cambodia exported a total of 1.4 million tonnes of non-rice agricultural products from January – May 2020.
Cambodia also exported record volumes of rice in the early part of 2020 but other agricultural exports from January to April 2020 are:
- 938,120 tonnes of dried cassava
- 330,850 tonnes of fresh cassava
- 9,301 tonnes of cassava powder
- 186,205 tonnes of cashew nuts
- 33,298 tonnes of corn
- 98,969 tonnes of bananas
- 42,035 tonnes of mangoes
- 2,252 tonnes of pepper
- 44 tonnes of vegetable
- 420 tonnes of tobacco
The Royal Cambodian Government has introduced an organic agriculture policy in April 2020 to boost production and exports.