July 3, 2017

Study on how to boost rice storage

A feasibility study into the possibility of establishing a series of warehouses and kiln for rice farmers is exploring how to improve the quality of storage in the industry

The study will be conducted by the Cambodia Rice Federation, Soma Group, and two companies from China’s Jilin province.

Hun Lak, vice president of CRF, said the research is the first stage of developing the rice sector in Cambodia by establishing standardised warehouses and kilns.

The new facilities will enable Cambodia to collect paddy rice for long-term storage and will stabilise supplies of the grain, he said.

“We will be able to store rice until in the market price is right and there is high demand. This will ensure a stable income for suppliers all year long,” Mr Lak said. “We will be able to eliminate losses in harvest season.”

However, Mr Lak said it is still not known how much money will be invested into the warehouses and how many will be built.

“The capital is not yet finalised,” Mr Lak said. “Detailed studies must be conducted before we can finalise the project.”

In the past, Cambodian farmers were forced to sell quality paddy rice to neighbouring countries at low price because of a lack of storage facilities, he said.

Last year, the government asked China to provide loans for building warehouses and kiln. China also agreed to increase its quota of rice imports from Cambodia from 100,000 to 300,000 tonnes.

The budget for this project however will be provided by investors from Jilin province in China.

Mr Lak could not confirm where the first warehouse and kiln will be located, but according to Jin Yu Hui, vice governor of Jilin province, Battambang is the priority area.

CRF president Sok Puthyvuth, who is also CEO of Soma Group, said the project will benefit the entire rice sector, including farmers, rice millers, and rice exporters.

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