Production of renowned Kampot pepper, one of Cambodia’s only two products to be registered as a Geographical Indication in the European Union, will increase substantially this year, the Kampot Pepper Promotion Association said.
The association projects a 69-tonne hike in yields, meaning that about 90 tonnes will be produced.
However, the figure is lower than that of 2017, when more than 100 tonnes were produced, said Ngoun Lay, the association’s president.
“Despite unfavourable weather during the harvest season, we still expect yields to reach around 90 tonnes. So far this year, we have harvested about 70 percent of that amount,” Mr Lay told Khmer Times.
Harvest season runs from March to late June, he said.
Mr Lay said three companies are now applying to join the organisation, which already has 35 companies registered as members. “We hope the new members will help us expand our market.”
He did not disclose the name of the potential members but revealed that each has placed orders for 2 to 10 tonnes of pepper.
Mr Lay pointed out that about 50 percent of all Kampot pepper is shipped to the European Union, while about 20 percent is exported to other countries, primarily the United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Russia. The remaining 30 percent is consumed internally.
Kampot pepper comes in three varieties – black, red and white – selling for about $15, $25 and $28 per kilogram respectively. The association said prices have not changed in the last four years.
The Kampot Pepper Promotion Association works with 457 households planting pepper on 200 hectares of land.