Yields of Kampot pepper increased nearly fivefold in the first six months of 2015, generating sales of $1 million, according to the Kampot Pepper Agricultural Cooperative.
“Last year our farmers faced drought a lot. That’s why we could not reach the contracted supply amount of 26 tons,” said cooperative president Nguon Lay.
He said a total of 57 tons of Kampot pepper was sold for $1 million during the first two quarters of this year, compared to 12 tons sold for $150,000 over the same period last year.
Yields and sales increased as existing wells for the plantations were enlarged and new ones added, Mr. Lay explained. The amount of land under Kampot pepper cultivation also nearly doubled from 60 hectares in 2014 to 110 hectares.
For the first time, importers have sought out Kampot pepper, making promotion of the product unnecessary, according to Kim Oun, commercial manager at local commodity exporter Confirel.
Kampot pepper, which is grown in adjoining Kampot and Kep provinces, has Geographical Indication status, which prevents imitators from passing off their product as the real thing.