Cambodian and Thai agricultural authorities have been working this month to establish a system of Thai contract farming in western Cambodia, officials said Sunday.
“We are pushing the Thai side to urgently agree on contract farming,” Agriculture Ministry Secretary of State Chan Tong Yves said.
He met with Thai Agriculture Minister Kung Ying Sudarat on July 11, and reminded him of a two- year-old agreement stating that Thailand would help establish contract farming and improve production systems here, he said.
“If we have this kind of contract farming, our farmer will be better off, because the contract will specify the price before the farming begins and they will buy the whole crop,” Chan Tong Yves said.
According to The Bangkok Post newspaper, Thai Agriculture Deputy Permanent Secretary Suthiporn Chirapanda said Saturday that the contract farming plan is likely to continue following a series of meetings last week.
Soybean, corn, tapioca and palm products would be sent to Thailand without import tariff. Thai investors would help upgrade Cambodian farms in exchange for fixed production contracts.
“What we have planned to plant in Cambodia is crops that we usually import from other countries,” Suthiporn said.
On Sum, deputy governor of Banteay Meanchey province, said the absence of contracts leaves farmers vulnerable.
“Middlemen can move the price up and down, because we don’t have any company that has really invested and will buy our crop based on a standard price,” he said.