via CAAI News Media
April, 05 2010
AN GIANG — The Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of An Giang should better exploit its great potential to export vegetables to Cambodia, experts advise.
As Cambodia can meet only 60 per cent of the vegetable demand for its residents, it is having to import vegetables from Viet Nam and Thailand, they say.
Vegetable exports to Cambodia have surged from 5 – 7 tonnes per day in 2007 to 70 – 80 tonnes per day in 2010.
Lim Sokun, secretary of state for foreign affairs of Cambodia's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said wholesale turnover between Viet Nam's An Giang Province and Cambodia's Kampot Province had soared from US$40 million in 2007 to $60 million in 2008.
In An Giang, vegetables at the Long Binh wholesale market, sourced from various other provinces, are mostly exported to the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh.
Everyday, about 50 – 70 tonnes of fresh vegetables and fruits from Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces and Da Lat City are exported to Cambodia.
The Long Binh Market in An Giang Province's An Phu District appears to be Cambodia's biggest agricultural product market. But the district only meets 10 per cent of export demand, so traders have to source vegetables from other wholesale markets in HCM City and Da Lat.
Local authorities have announced plans to cultivate 635ha of high-quality farm produce in order to expand vegetable exports to Cambodia.
Each Cambodian trader typically buys one or two tonnes of vegetables and takes them to markets in Phnom Penh.
Since An Phu District does not have a wide variety of products, traders get them from wholesale markets in Chau Doc, Chau Phu and Cho Moi Districts.
For some products like potato, carrot and cauliflower, traders use wholesale markets in HCM City, which gets them from Da Lat.
Nguyen Van Kiet, a farmer in Thanh Phu Hamlet, Khanh An District, said that he was no longer afraid that vegetables would become unmarketable or have their prices fall, like rice.
"We plan to increase the land area for cultivating farm produce in three hamlets, An Khanh, An Hoa and Khanh Hoa," said Duong Van Hoa, chairman the People's Committee of Khanh An District.
At present, only 40 per cent of agricultural land in Khanh An District is used to produce vegetables.
Meanwhile, An Phu Commune officials have announced plans to cultivate organic vegetables for export on an area of 1,370ha, with a total investment of VND22.7 billion ($1.1 million). — VNS