Tourists and locals visiting Kampot can now find organic vegetables, fruit, seafood and a range of other local products after a new market opened in the city last week.
The new facility, known as Common Market and created in collaboration with the Alliance of the Marine Fisheries Association of Cambodia (AFAC) at Kampot, gives local producers the opportunity to showcase their products, while increasing the value and expanding the range of local products, particularly for seafood.
Chan Sitha, the founder of Common Market and owner of Eche Ngov Heng Food Production in Kampot, told Khmer Times that the market aims to highlight the quality and potential of local products, particularly seafood.
According to Chan, all locally-grown products that meet the market’s standards of hygiene, safety and packaging can potentially be sold at the new venue. “We are not just focusing on seafood and fish products, but also on other seasonal local products, such as high-quality organic vegetables and fruit that are properly packaged in order to attract buyers,” said Sitha. “Our market is small, but we believe it will render a great service to the people of Kampot. We encourage farmers and producers to adhere to our quality, hygiene and packaging standards and join us in the market.”
Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak, speaking during the grand opening of the market last week, said the new facility was created with the collaboration of the Fund of Marine Fisheries Project of the Cambodia Export Diversification and Expansion Program (CEDEP II), together with the Ministry of Commerce. In collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the private sector was also involved.
Sorasak said the new market will act as a service centre, connecting producers and buyers and multiplying opportunities for fishermen and members of the Alliance of Marine Fisheries Associations of Cambodia (AFAC) to sell their products and increase their incomes. “We are actively encouraging farmers and producers to adhere to our strict quality standards to increase the value on the products on display,” he said. The Commerce Minister highlighted the important role marine products play in the Kingdom, providing a source of income to more than six million Cambodians.
Kampot Governor Chan Chesda welcomed the new facility, but reiterated the importance of maintaining good quality standards as the market will also be visited by international tourists. He added that the market will create new jobs and sources of income for locals and will boost business activity in the province. “I believe this is the type of market we need to serve the growing population that enjoys a disposable income. We are very happy with the new opening and will cooperate with the Ministry of Commerce and other relevant parties,” said Chesda.
According to the Ministry of Commerce, fish products are considered a priority as they hold great potential in global markets. Every year the Kingdom exports nearly 300,000 tonnes of seafood products to China, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Australia, United States, Thailand and Vietnam. Japan is the biggest market for Cambodia’s marine products.
This article was originally published in the Khmer Times.