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Organic rice communities negotiate price with buyer

(Khmer Times, November 14, 2020)

Cambodia’s organic rice buyer and exporter, Amru Rice re negotiated anew price for organic rice with 15 farming communities in Preah Vihear province after both sides signed the agreement earlier this season.

According to the company, Amru Rice plans to buy about 15,000 tonnes of organic rice, Romduol and white rice, offering the farmers an additional  30 percent higher than non-organic product.

“Amru Rice will offer a special price to farmers who grow organic rice, where they receive an additional value of between 15  to 30 percent or at least between 170 riel and 250 riel per kilogram above the market price offered by traders,” the company said, adding that the price provides better income  than ordinary rice production.

The price of non-organic rice is sold at between 1,200 riel and 1,300riel per kilogram while the organic value is at 1,500 riel per kilogram.

Contract farming not only provide the farmers  market sustainability and revenue, but they can also receive training from companies on various soft skills and practicalities related to organic standards, internal audit systems, techniques, cultivation planning, trading, entrepreneurship, business concepts, financial records and management.

Amru Rice’s organic rice project started in Preah Vihear province in 2014, initially with the participation of eight communities and by 2020,22 communities have signed contracts with Amru Rice.

Currently, about 8,000 smallholders are producing organic rice across the country and most of them are in Preah Vihear, accounting for 5,000 farmers, producing more than 20,000 tonnes of organic paddy in total which could be processed into about 10,000 tonnes of rice. Some 90 percent of the organic rice is exported to the international markets.

The UN’s Global Reporting Initiative shows the Cambodia rice sector has faced significant sustainability challenges of decreasing returns for small-scale producers, inadequate uptake of responsible farming practices and smallholder engagement models amid calls for increasing organic production.

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