The Ministry of Commerce plans to promote the development of pottery products in Kampong Chhnang province, which currently has a small market.
Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak, who is also vice-president of the One Village One Product Movement (OVOP) National Committee, said via the ministry’s official Facebook page on Tuesday that the committee is studying the potential of the province’s pottery products to conserve the craft, promote its development, and improve the livelihoods of its craftsmen.
“[The Ministry] promises to mobilise resources and various partners to help develop the value chain and seek a broader market for Cambodian pottery through exhibitions at national and international events,” he said.
The post comes following the minister’s visit to a pottery production site in Rolea Ba’ier district’s Chrey Bakk commune in Kampong Chhnang province the same day.
The ministry plans to study in detail the area’s geography and potentially include it in the government’s Promotion of One Village One Product Movement Strategic Plan.
Ministry spokesman Seang Thay told The Post on Wednesday that to seek markets for the Kingdom’s products, it had always advised manufacturers to produce goods in hygienic conditions and with good quality and packaging standards while also being affordable and aesthetically pleasing.
He said the ministry continuously promoted Cambodian products through local and international exhibitions to raise their international profile.
“Today [Wednesday], I am going to China to participate in 16th China-Asean Expo [set to be held on September 21-24], so that our goods are displayed. It is part of seeking markets for all sectors, including pottery products,” he said.
Meaning ‘pottery’ in Khmer, Chhnang is part of Kampong Chhnang province’s identity. The province’s pottery is produced in two communes – Chrey Bakk and Sre Thmey – in Rolea Ba’ier district.
Kampong Chhnang provincial Department of Commerce director Chhuor Chanthan told The Post on Wednesday that the market for pottery products is not good.
“Production is based on demand. For example, it will only be produced when customers place orders. [The craftsmen] produce both products for daily use and ceramics for tourists. We think the market is still poor.”
Yang Sokha, the director of the Ceramic Development Center which is a community of 10 pottery producers who came together to promote their craft, said its products are not very marketable and earn just about $1,000 a month.
“The amount is low. Some 70 per cent of my products are sold to foreign tourists who visit Cambodia. They buy souvenir items and home products. I hope that there will be more of a market for exports after the ministry’s move to promote pottery,” she said.