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Farmers Are Turning Away From Coffee

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Though demand for coffee remains high, Cambodian farmers are continuing to turn away from the commodity in favor of cassava and rubber, which are less demanding and expensive to grow, farmers and agricultural officials said yesterday.


Heng Sokhum, an agronomy officer for Mondolkiri province’s department of agriculture, said prior to 2003 there were 600 hectares of land used for coffee plantations in the province. Today, there are only 41 hectares. Ratanakiri province tells a similar story, with many farmers switching to plant rubber, said Soy Sona, director of the province’s agriculture department. Rubber prices have roughly doubled over the course of last year and traded yesterday for 474.80 yen or about $5.79, on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange. Farmers say they face fierce competition from growers in Vietnam, who produce more coffee that is generally of a higher quality.

As with many commodities in Cambodia, coffee lacks investment and suffers from a lack of packaging and branding.

Source institution:

The Cambodia Daily, March 03, 2011, page 25, by Hul Reaksmey

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