The French government has donated $1 million to launch a rubber-farming program for families in the Tbong Khmum district in Kompong Cham province, according to the government rubber plantation authority.
During the three-year pilot program, farmers will be supplied with rubber tree seedlings to plant on 1,500 hectares in Tbong Khmum, said Ly Phalla, who heads the General Directorate of Rubber Plantations.
Officials are hoping new tracts of seedlings will help the rubber industry in Cambodia rebound. Many of the rubber trees are old and low yielding.
Adding to that, rubber was sold for $1,600 a ton three years ago, but is now fetching less than half that. “We want to improve the potential of the rubber industry, especially familial rubber,” Ly Phalla said.
There are 38,114 hectares of rubber farms in Cambodia, producing 35,000 tons of latex each year, Ly Phalla said.