Cambodia expects to export its first shipment of mangoes to South Korea in October following an agreement signed between both countries in 2015.
Veng Sakhon, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, on Saturday said the exports will be done by Hyundai Agro (Cambodia), a joint venture between Hyundai Corporation and local partner Mao Legacy which has a 400 hectare orchard in Kampong Speu province.
“The company completed a Vapor Heat Treatment (VHT) facility to inspect the quality of the fruit to meet South Korea’s Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency’s requirements for mangoes to be exported to the country,” he said. “The APQA inspection will be made and the company plans to export fresh mangoes from Cambodia to South Korea in October.”
“Mangoes are one of the potential agricultural products for export from Cambodia, so the government has worked actively to open more markets for the fruit. The government has provided technical knowhow to farmers to help them produce agricultural products which meet international standards,” Mr Sakhon added.
Currently, Cambodians mangoes are being exported to EU countries by Kingdom Fruits International, a subsidiary of Mong Reththy Group.
Tan Monivann, vice president of Mong Reththy Group, told Khmer Times in May that he expected the number of mango exports from Cambodia to increase after processing, packaging and VHT facilities are established.
“We have studied the successful result of the VHT facility of the South Korean joint venture and it provides an opportunity for mango exports to that country,” he said. “We have the potential to export more of the fruit to other countries but had lacked facilities to sterilise the fruit from diseases.”
“Now that we have successfully built a VHT facility, more can be established for us to increase exports,” Mr Monivann added.
Cambodia also exports mangoes to Thailand and Vietnam and the Agriculture Minister says the Kingdom is in talks with China, Japan and the US to export the fruit to those countries.
“We hope the talks with China on the export of fresh fruits including mangoes will result in the signing of agreements,” Mr Monivann said.
The lack of facilities to process and package the fruit have forced Cambodian farmers to export the unsterilised fruit at lower than marker prices to Vietnam and Thailand, according to In Chayvan, president of the Kampong Speu Mango Association.
“The market for mangos is not big so farmers have to sell the fruit to traders who offer below market prices because there is a lack of processing and packaging facilities for us to comply with the requirements of importing countries,” he said.
Cambodia’s total mango plantations cover 105,300 hectares of land and produce 1.2 tonnes of the fruit yearly.