Exports of the agriculture ministry’s “assorted vegetables” category reached 39.82 tonnes in the first five months of this year, marking a 9.22 per cent year-on-year rise.
France took in the overwhelming majority, at 39.78 tonnes or 99.9 per cent, followed by New Zealand (0.04 tonnes), according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
This category does not include a number of crops that may be considered vegetables in the culinary sense. Notable examples of excluded items are legumes such as mung beans and soybeans, grains like corn and rice, peppercorn, chilli peppers and cassava.
Chan Pich, general manager of milled-rice and vegetable exporter Signatures of Asia Co Ltd, noted that a lack of flights during the Covid-19 pandemic prompted the company to halt vegetable exports.
Even though Cambodia reopened in November, Pich claims transportation would still takes too long, causing the vegetables to spoil.
“We have not contacted our customers to resume exports,” he affirmed.
Cambodia Safe Fish, Meat and Vegetables Association vice-president Sok Yorn said that ongoing rises in cultivation would translate to an increased capacity to supply fruits and vegetables for export.
“However, most agricultural products have not reached the quality and phytosanitary standards necessary for export. This requires more attention from growers and agricultural authorities,” he said.
The ministry’s General Directorate of Agriculture said that in 2021, the Kingdom exported 7.98 million tonnes of agricultural products to 68 countries and territories, marking a 63.83 per cent increase over 2020, and netting nearly $4.97 billion.