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Demand for Cambodia’s yellow bananas has surged since China authorised the export of the fruit last year.

Cambodia’s minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, Veng Sakhon, said advances in agricultural technology, processing, packaging and exporting has helped boost yellow banana exports, which have increased significantly during the first five months of this year.

According to the Phnom Penh Post, Long Sreng International, a Cambodian company developing agro-industrial crops, has exported 22,762 tonnes of yellow bananas since January 2020. Of that, 8,348 tonnes were exported to China and 14,414 tonnes to Vietnam.

Sakhon noted the ministry wants to strengthen cooperation with development partners and the private sector. He hoped this would support investment in all agricultural product value chains by increasing productivity, packaging, storing, processing, hygiene and safety in line with export market standards.

Long Sreng International chairman, Heng Sreng, said his company is investing in agro-industrial crops including yellow bananas, Pailin longan, durian, grapefruit and jackfruit in Kampong Cham province’s Stung Trang district.

Currently, the company is cultivating 1,000ha of bananas, 78ha of grapefruit, 240ha of Pailin longan, 145ha of durian and 125ha of jackfruit.

“Each orchard is organised according to the proper technical standards, with irrigation and harvesting systems, packaging facilities, warehouses, seed production platforms, storage pools and water distribution systems,” Sreng told the Phnom Penh Post.

Another exporter, Longmate Agriculture, has reportedly exported 10,000 tonnes of yellow bananas since the beginning of the year, and has plans expand its production by 400ha.

“Our exports of fresh bananas to the Chinese market have been going smoothly as usual. China has not imposed a limit on the number of imports as of yet, and fresh fruit imports from Cambodia go in as usual, without any restrictions,” said Longmate Agriculture director, Hun Lak.

Cambodia’s agriculture ministry data indicates the country’s total yellow banana export volume has reached 121,414 tonnes during the first five months of 2020, with China, Vietnam and Japan the biggest markets.

By comparison, in 2019 a total 157,812 tonnes of Cambodian yellow bananas were exported to international markets.

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