The Mondulkiri provincial agriculture department has reported that the production of fresh coffee beans in the province is yielding a higher market value following the signing of a production contract, coinciding with an increase in both the cultivation and area allocated for coffee.

Song Kheang, director of the Mondulkiri Provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, stated on November 19 that the price of fresh or raw coffee beans in the province rose in 2023, subsequent to the finalisation of a contract regarding the supply of fresh coffee products.

“The cost of fresh or raw coffee beans ranged between 1,350-1,500 riel in 2023, marking an increase of 200-300 riel. It’s anticipated that the price of these coffee beans will continue to rise, reaching between 1,400-1,600 riel per kilogramme in the coming year,” he explained.

Kheang attributed the price increase to a two-year collaboration between the provincial agriculture department and a coffee company, which agreed to purchase the beans at a higher market price.

“Upholding the market value of fresh coffee products or raw coffee beans has played a significant role in enhancing the livelihoods of farmers, boosting their resilience and strengthening cultivation practices to ensure a standard and sustainable supply chain,” he explained.

Meas Makara, a resident of Maprayong village in Mondulkiri’s Pech Chreada district, said that she has been cultivating coffee for nine years to supply the current market and contribute to the country’s agricultural sector.

“Coffee is a crop that is currently in high demand in both domestic and international markets,” she stated.

“Fresh coffee beans are now reasonably priced, particularly after contract farming mediation. Companies are ready to purchase, so we don’t worry about the market. However, we must comply with conditions like using natural fertilisers and providing care to ensure the quality of the fresh coffee beans,” she added.

Kheang reported that as of 2023, approximately 365 households and a company, covering a total area of 525 hectares, have been cultivating coffee. While the number of households has slightly increased, the cultivation area has expanded considerably.

Agriculture minister Dith Tina noted that he has frequently encouraged stakeholders to engage in agricultural production contracts between private companies and farmers.

He emphasised that these contracts are crucial in enhancing the agricultural production value chain, particularly in strengthening the relationship and trust between producers and buyers.

The ministry is preparing to expand the currently limited cultivation of Robusta coffee and its usage, as they acknowledge the significant increase in coffee consumption in the country.

The variety is deemed suitable for cultivation in the Kingdom, particularly in highland regions like Mondulkiri. The moderate cold weather and heavy rainfall in these areas are conducive to coffee growth, enabling farmers to achieve higher yields, as per the ministry.