KANDAL, Cambodia – In a bid to thwart falling local fragrant rice prices, the Cambodia Rice Bank (CRB) has offered to buy rice directly from farmers for a set market price in three northwestern provinces.
“The Cambodia Rice Bank will purchase harvested fragrant paddy rice directly from farmers, at their farms, for 840 riel a kilogram ($0.21),”said the CRB in a statement, as cited by the Khmer Times newspaper.
International rice exports from Cambodia fell by 6 percent in the first half of 2016, and local prices have now dropped from 1,200 riel ($0.29) per kilogram last year to 700 riel ($0.17) now, a price that the CRB is encouraging rice farmers to resist selling for.
The CRB program for Battambang, Pursat and Banteay Meanchey provinces is supported by a loan from the Rural Development Bank (RDB) and will also provide farmers a place to store their rice so that they do not have to resort to selling to millers and brokers for below-market fares.
“I think this direct intervention will help sustain rice market prices,” said RDB director-general Kao Nach.
The CRB, set up in the northwestern province of Battambang in 2011 but only recently functional, can provide rice farmers with up to 100,000 tons of storage space.
The Cambodian Ministry of Commerce also convened Friday to discuss the fall in local rice prices, though millers have expressed discontent with the lack of government intervention so far.
“In a harsh operating environment without much government assistance, the private sector in the rice industry has to take initiative to solve its own problems hoping that along the way,” said David Van, the executive director of rice exporting company Boost Riche Cambodia, as cited by the Far Eastern Agriculture portal.
Source: Latin American Herald Tribune