The Kingdom exported 9,379.29 tons of sesame last year, according to a report from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, with Vietnam buying the lion’s share.

Cambodia sent 6,951 tons of sesame to Vietnam, 1,970 tons to Thailand, 439 tons to Taiwan and 18.5 tons to Japan, the report said.

Khan Samban, a director of the agro-industry department at the ministry, said exports of sesame were rising but did not say by how much as official data had yet to be finalized.  

“Almost every agricultural product saw an increase in exports because the international market is starting to recognize our products while the government is paving the way for exporters to find markets,” Mr. Samban said. “In 2015, Cambodian sesame and cashew nuts had very good markets for export and at good prices,” he added.

Oil can be extracted from sesame and used in many different food products, he said. The agriculture sector has been expanding on average by 3 to 4 percent annually since 2009, according to a report from the ministry.

Mr. Samban said growth in the agricultural sector was a result of the government’s promotion policies and rising farmers’ productivity.   

The five-year Agricultural Sector Strategy Development Plan specifies policy goals and objectives, expected development outcomes and lists the activities the ministry will implement, officials said. The plan aligns with the Rectangular Strategy for Growth Phase-III and the National Strategic Development Plan for 2014-2018, they added. Both continue to promote agricultural productivity, diversification and commercialization.

Under the Agricultural Sector Strategic Development Plan for 2009-2013, the ministry addressed several key issues that were critical for the sector’s development, officials said. It promoted commercialization and encouraged contract farming, attempted to give farmers protection and leverage in markets by organizing producer organizations, simplified the export process and established and enforced sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards, according to a report on the plan.

Khmer Times/Sum Manet

Tuesday, 15 March 2016