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Phnom Penh (VNA) – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said he had proposed Philippine President Rodirgo Duterte to invest more in rice production in Cambodia.

Addressing a meeting of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on April 10, PM Hun Sen said he suggested the Philippines invest 100 percent in rice production, harvest and processing in Cambodia and directly import the product from the country.

He noted that the country’s rice production, processing and export have faced a range of difficulties in the world market, while Cambodia currently has over 3 million tonnes of  rice in excess.

The Cambodian PM asked rice producers and exporters to prioritise ensuring quality and trademark of exported rice, while reducing production costs and expanding markets.

He also called for the private sector’s cooperation in developing high-yield rice varieties which are resilient to extreme weather conditions and encouraged domestic and foreign investors to invest more in rice production, packaging and export in Cambodia.

Currently, along with traditional markets, Cambodia has exported rice to the EU market with the trend of using good varieties and no toxic pesticide.

From 2003 to 2013, Cambodia’s agricultural sector enjoyed annual growth of 5.8 percent, but then suffered a low rise of below 1 percent in 2016 when the country exported only 542,144 tonnes of rice, up 0.7 percent over 2015.-VNA