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Cooperation: That’s rice

(Khmer Times, July 13, 2020)

Amru Rice and eight agriculture cooperatives (ACs) in Battambang province signed contract farming deals to produce and supply fragrant paddy on sustainable rice for the 2020 cultivation season.

The cooperatives consist of 1,000 families, and will produce and supply Sen Kro Ob paddy  and Phka Rumdoul varieties.

Song Saran, president of Amru Rice (Cambodia), one of the leading rice exporters in Cambodia, said the company signed around 7,000 tonnes of fragrant paddy in Battambang for supporting farmers and the community in Sangke district with eight agriculture cooperatives.

He added that the company will continue by signing up for another 35,000 tonnes of organic paddy and specialty paddy (Phka Rumdoul and Sen Kro Ob fragrant rice) with 44 agriculture cooperatives in Siem Reap, Kampong Thom, Kampong Cham, Mondukiri and Preah Vihear at the end of July or early August.

“In August, we will also sign another contract for 5,000 tonnes with 12 ACs for organic specialty rice with cooperatives and farmers from Kampot, Kampong Speu, Takeo, and Kampong Chhnang. The event will be held in Phnom Penh,” said Saran.

He said that in total there are around 66 Agriculture Cooperatives of which 10,000 family growers with 45,000 tonnes on 15,000 hectares that will supply the crop to Amru Rice under contract farming in 2020 season.

Kong Pheach, director of the agro-industry department at the Ministry of Agriculture, said that based on the contract farming between the agriculture cooperatives and two companies – Amru Rice and Battambang Rice Investment Co Ltd,  “BRICo”, the 8 ACs will produce and supply paddy of 15,000 tonnes for this 2020 cultivation season.

“Based on the contract farming, both farmers and ACs in Battambang are committed to produce and supply the SRP rice variety to rice millers and exporters at an agreed price,” Pheach added.

Contract farming between the export company will be the bridge to build trust among the agriculture cooperatives and rice millers to create a sustainable market for farmers and the rice millers will have the quality of paddy for milling for exports, said Chray Son, vice-president of Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) and the chair of executive committee on the cooperative agriculture development.

“The exports of milled rice in the first six months of the year achieved nearly 400,000 tonnes and expect to have another 450,000 tonnes in the next six months,” he added.

According to CRF, Battambang province has 82 farming cooperatives, which offers a high potential for rice millers to partner with to produce, supply and purchase paddy. CRF also called on other cooperative agriculture producers to seek a partnership or contact the CRFfor any facilitation to help farmers.

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