Official mango exports from Cambodia to China could begin as soon as the beginning of next year after visiting experts concluded that the fruit grown in the Kingdom is of good quality.
Officials from the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC) visited the Kingdom on November 24 to inspect Cambodian mango cultivation and determine whether to approve exports.
Ngin Chhay, the director-general of the General Directorate of Agriculture at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, met with GACC officials over the weekend.
He said that following field observations, studies and practical assessments carried out at mango plantations in five provinces, the GACC had determined that conditions in Cambodia for the fruit are satisfactory.
He said Cambodia is tackling a number of issues addressed by the GACC to further expand the potential market for the Kingdom’s mangoes in China and other countries.
Speaking during The Ultimate Architecture of Modern Design: Swiftlet Home Preservation for the Middle-Income Class workshop on November 24, Chhay said: “If China . . . sees good mango plantations, more sites will be allowed to export in the coming February or March.”
The GACC said pest damage and chemical pesticide use was minimal, and that the mango processing plants had good pest control standards.
However, officials cited a lack of testing for pests and pathogens, a lack of records on damage from insects, an excess of weeds in mango fields and a lack of controls on farms.
Vann Rithy, general manager of Angkor Mango, a mango buyer and exporter, on Sunday said that China is a large, high-demand and high-value market, and that official exports would greatly contribute to the growth of Cambodia’s economy.
The Kingdom’s mangoes are currently exported to China informally through Vietnam and Thailand.
“When official mango exports to China receive the green light, Cambodia will see a lot of benefits, particularly in regard to prices.
The previous need to export through neighbouring countries led to lower mango prices,” Rithy said.
He said the Kingdom would not be able to produce enough mangoes to meet the increased demand, but that yields are set to increase significantly as the approval of exports would encourage farmers in most provinces to plant more mango trees.
Chhay said there are currently around 60,000 to 70,000ha of mango plantations in the Kingdom.