Thailand Bans Corn Imports Through Ban Khao Din

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Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce last week announced a ban on field corn imports coming through Ban Khao Din, in the border with Cambodia.

A farmer collects corncobs in Pailin province. KT/Siv Channa

The ban comes into effect on Saturday.

The move was announced after a ministry meeting last week, according to Thai media reports.

Ban Khao Din is an international border gate in Thailand’s Sa Kaeo province, which borders Battambang province.

In a statement, the ministry said the import ban will protect Thai farmers from potentially contaminated Cambodian goods, adding that Thailand produces enough corn to satisfy local demand.

“Starting the end of this month, imports of field corn will no longer be allowed through the border crossing with Cambodia,” the ministry said.

Chhim Vichara, director of Battambang’ agricultural department, told Khmer Times on Monday he was not aware of the latest ban, but said an official letter has been sent to Thai authorities requesting that the border crossing be open to Cambodian goods.

“The Ministry of Agriculture has just sent a letter to Thai authorities to ask them to allow imports of corn, cassava and mango,” he said.

Corn is used for livestock and poultry feeds, generally accounting for about 50 percent of rations, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Cambodia exported about 110,000 tonnes of corn kernels during the first seven months of the year, with the three major market destinations being Vietnam, Thailand and Taiwan.

Last year, corn production in Cambodia amounted to 715,000 tonnes, an increase of 15,000 tonnes over the previous year.

This article was originally published in the Khmer Times.