Rice Federation Votes, Approves Export Fee

The newly formed Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) voted Monday to require its members pay an export fee of $0.50 per ton of long-grain white rice and $1 per ton of fragrant rice in order to raise money for educating farmers and marketing Cambodian rice overseas, according to Sok Puthyvuth, the federation’s president.

“Finally our members decided on the fee. After this, we will prepare plans and programs,” Mr. Puthyvuth said. He said CRF needs $777,000 to implement its “action plan,” which includes television advertisements, coordinating seed production and raising awareness about potential crop issues.

“Previously when we had ideas, we always needed to ask for help from other organizations, which makes our work slow because we needed to wait for…approvals,” Mr. Puthyvuth said.

Lun Yeng, secretary-general of CRF, said about 25 to 30 percent of the money would be used for CRF operations, including staff salaries, while the rest would be used to develop an international market for rice exporters.

“[M]ostly, we will use the funds to help push the sale of rice,” he said.

Last year, rice exports reached 387,061 tons, well short of the government’s goal of exporting 1 million tons this year.

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Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that CRF members would be required to pay $0.75 per ton for both long-grain white rice and fragrant rice.

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