The Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) has called on its member rice millers to buy paddy from farmers in flood-affected areas at sensible prices following the recent deluges.
The plea comes after a series of flash floods inundated several hectares of paddy fields across the Kingdom over the past week, with Battambang, Pursat and Banteay Meanchey provinces being particularly badly hit.
The CRF noted in a press release that the dramatic increase in floods in the Kingdom’s central lowlands region has led to significant damages to paddy fields and disruptions of logistics and transportation chains.
It said: “The CRF would like to ask member rice millers based near [affected] fields to help buy as much flooded paddy from farmers as possible at reasonable prices.”
Eang Heang, the owner of Eang Heang Rice Mill in Battambang province’s eastern Sangke district, told The Post that he has purchased more than 10,000 tonnes of paddy from farmers at an average price of between 950 and 1,000 riel ($0.23 and $0.24) per kg and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
He said: “I’ve been buying their paddy every day from even before the floods hit. I constantly recommended them to harvest their crop and sell it immediately, and not store it for a couple of days as that could quite well harm its quality.”
The Thorn Chea Rice Mill in Tbong Khmum province’s southwestern O’Reang-ou district also vowed to buy the affected paddy for the time being, in a move that its owner claimed would help stabilise the crop’s price.
Pann Chantrea said she has bought 200 tonnes of the flooded paddy daily for more than a week, noting that most of it was shipped by Pursat-based farmers.
She said: “I’m buying up all of the flooded paddy as long as it is available at a base price of 950 riel per kg. I’ve got to do this so that the price of their paddy does not fall.”
CRF secretary-general Lun Yeng told The Post on Tuesday that although the flood situation had eased, the federation continues to call on its members to purchase affected paddy.
He said: “Bearing in mind that we are nearing the end of the harvest season for early-maturing rice varieties, paddy remains at some level of risk. We call on our members to buy paddy to avoid panic among farmers.”
According to the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, the Kingdom will continue to experience scattered rains resulting from Saudel – the 17th typhoon of the year – and Tropical Storm Nangka, which are forecast to make landfall in the Kingdom at the weekend.