Bumper Rice Crop Expected This Year ‘Barring Major Setbacks’

Cambodia is predicted to produce a record rice crop this year, according to the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization. 

In its April rice market monitor report, issued quarterly, the FAO said as long as the industry does not encounter any major setbacks—such as floods between September and Novem­ber—Cam­bodia will produce 9.4 million tons of rice paddy, slightly up from last year.

“Barring major setbacks, Cambodia is forecast to produce 9.4 million tons in 2014, largely replicating the 2013 excellent performance,” the report says, adding that the total yield of milled rice will be about six million tons.

In 2013, Cambodia lost 128,500 hectares of paddy during floods that affected most of the country. The government said the floods caused a drop in paddy production of about 160,000 tons, but the FAO report says last year was still an improvement on 2012.

“Production forecasts for Cambodia have been lowered by 160,000 tons since November, on Government assessments putting the 2013 harvest at 9.34 million tons,” the report says.

“The revised level would imply a one percent output expansion from the 2012 record level, an achievement that would come despite the loss of 128,500 hectares of paddies to the floods that affected 21 provinces of the country between September and November,” it continues.

Hean Vanhorn, deputy director-general of the department of agriculture at the Agriculture Ministry, said rice production is increasing year on year due to new intensive farming techniques and planting of better quality seeds.

Mr. Vanhorn added that Cambodia’s two million hectares of farmland is being used more efficiently with improved irrigation techniques that allow certain varieties of rice to be grown in the dry as well as the rainy season.

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