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First Export Shipment of Milled Rice to Indonesia

Prime Minister Hun Manet has expressed his enthusiasm over the first shipment of milled rice to Indonesia, highlighting it as a significant step for the nation’s export market. This development marks Cambodia’s inroad into one of the most populous ASEAN markets.

The ceremonial welcome for the initial 3,500 tonnes of the commodity was held at Tanjung Emas Harbor, in Central Java’s Semarang City on November 2. The event was organised by Indonesia’s National Food Administration (NFA) and acknowledged by officials from both countries.

Manet announced on his Facebook page that the historic shipment arrived in Indonesia – ASEAN’s largest economy – after successful market negotiations concluded in August.

He said the effort was achieved through the combined efforts of the government’s top leaders and the active participation of various groups, including the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Ministry of Commerce and the General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE), along with the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) in the private sector.

“All these efforts align with the Pentagonal Strategy-Phase I, which is centred on promoting agriculture and rural development. The strategy aims to bolster the modern, diversified and resilient agricultural sector, underpinning rural advancement to guarantee food security and safety, enhance value addition, boost competitiveness and elevate the living standards of the rural populace,” he stated.

Song Saran, chairman of the CRF – the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body – said the first shipment of milled rice to Indonesia is an historic achievement for the country’s export market, born from the collaborative efforts of stakeholders across the board, both the government and the private sector.

“Exports to Indonesia demonstrate the expansion of Cambodia’s rice sector, spurred by the initiation of a government-to-government cooperation strategy,” he said.

Arief Prasetyo Adi, CEO of the NFA, and Akhmad Kholisun, president of Perum BULOG’s Central Java branch, praised the quality of Cambodia’s white milled rice and indicated plans for continued imports.

Cambodian agriculture ministry spokesperson Im Rachna said this marks a new regional market for the Kingdom’s product. She highlighted the collective goal of delivering economic benefits to local farmers and contributing to the national agricultural sector’s advancement.

“I wish to extend my congratulations and gratitude for the dedication of all stakeholders, public and private alike, who have driven the market-opening negotiations to the point of formal export,” she said.

Green Trade Company – a Cambodian state-owned enterprise operating under the commerce ministry – secured a contract from BULOG, an Indian state-owned food logistics agency, in 2023, to supply a total of 10,000 tonnes of milled rice. The company also confirmed that another shipment of 3,000 tonnes was dispatched from a Cambodian port on October 29, with a further 3,500 tonnes set to be shipped on November 5.

Sen Kra-ob (SKO), one of Cambodia’s fragrant rice varieties, secured a gold award at the 1st China-ASEAN Taste Quality Appraisal held in China, as per the CRF’s October 31 press release.

According to the CRF, in the first nine months of 2023, the country’s milled rice exports reached 456,581 tonnes, valued at $327.45 million, across 57 different destinations and facilitated by 55 companies.

Source: Phnom Penh Post