Agriculture wholesale firm Sahakreas Cedac Ltd signed a deal with honey producers in four provinces yesterday to connect them to the market and provide them with a fairer more stable price.
Sahakreas Cedac has agreed to cooperate this year with the Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Program for South and Southeast Asia in purchasing 4,000 liters of honey from more than 300 farmers in Mondolkiri, Koh Kong, Kratie and Preah Vihear provinces, said Sahakreas Cedac’s President Yang Saing Koma, up from 1,500 liters in 2009.
“This will reassure the community because they have a market for selling their honey,” Mr Koma said yesterday at a signing ceremony in Phnom Penh, adding that the honey will be branded as ‘Wild Honey’ and will be sold at retail outlets around Phnom Penh.
Sahakreas Cedac Limited was created by local NGO Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture last year.
“Farmers will also be obliged to pay attention to the standard of their product,” Mr Koma said, adding that by doing business with farmers in this way, he estimated that more than 20,000 hectares of forestland would be protected as workers would not longer have to rely on additional income from cutting down trees and selling timber.
Ith Vun, a representative of a community honey-farming group in Preah Vihear province, said that consolidating a link to the retail market would encourage farmers to increase their production levels.
“This will improve our livelihoods and provide us with jobs,” Mr Vun said, adding that CEDAC had agreed to pay farmer $9 per liter for their honey.
Pich Phuny, a Banong minority member and a representative of a honey farming community in Mondolkiri province, said that prior to the deal with Sahakreas Cedac some farmers in his community had sold honey to traders for as little as 5,000 riel per liter. He welcomed the deal with Sahakreas Cedac as a way to ensure that the forests in the area remain protected.
“The minorities depend on the forest for their products,” Mr Phuny said. “If we cannot protect it we will not be able to keep producing honey.”
Mondolkiri deputy governor Svay Sam Eang said the deal would help establish sustained employment for villagers in the province.