Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Phnom Penh (VNA) - Cambodia exported some 421,000 tonnes of rice in the first nine months of this year, up 16.7 percent compared to the same period last year.

Deputy Director General of the General Department of Agriculture under Cambodia’s Ministry of Agriculture Hean Vanhorn said that with this slight growth, the country is not likely to meet its target of shipping abroad 1 million tonnes of rice this year.

He predicted that Cambodia may export over 600,000 tonnes in the whole year.

Hean Vanhorn also said that while Cambodia has a 200,000-tonne rice export quota to China in 2017, and the figure may reach 300,000 tonnes in 2018, local firms need to diversify markets to minimise risks.

Vice Chairman of the Cambodia Rice Exporters’ Association Hun Lak said that in the coming time, Cambodian exporters should upgrade their storage and drying system, thus improving the country’s rice quality. He also called on the government to apply support policies for exporters through capital assistance and tax cut.

In the first nine months of this year, China was the biggest market for Cambodia’s rice by importing over 120,000 tonnes, followed by France with over 50,000 tonnes and Poland with over 35,000 tonnes.

Last year, Cambodia shipped more than 540,000 tonnes of milled rice to 65 countries around the world, up 0.7 percent over a year earlier.-VNA