[INNEWS Comprehensive Report] On August 22, Yang Saing Koma, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Cambodia, announced that due to the sharp rise in coffee consumption, the Ministry is supporting the expansion of the cultivation and consumption of Robusta coffee, although its cultivation in Cambodia is still very small.
Robusta coffee is still in short supply in Cambodia, Yang Saing Koma said, because the coffee is best suited to the geographical conditions of Mondulkiri province, where the highlands have a cool climate and plenty of rainfall, allowing them to grow well. At present, there is a large amount of coffee planted in the province, but it is still below the current demand, which makes Cambodia have to import more coffee from abroad. Coffee fetches a high price in the market and the ministry is looking for farmers who are interested in expanding coffee cultivation to increase their profits.
Yang Saing Koma pointed out that the ministry does not yet have clear data on coffee cultivation, but estimates that the area of coffee cultivation in Mondulkiri province is only a few hundred hectares, including a small amount of Arabica coffee and a large amount of Robusta coffee. However, Arabica coffee is not suitable for growing in Cambodia, as it requires a high location, severe cold weather and a lot of rain to grow well. Robusta coffee, on the other hand, can be grown in the highlands of Mondulkiri, where the climate is cool and rainy.
Chhay Mony, Chief Financial Officer of KOFI Company, said that KOFI Company and the Mondulkiri Provincial Department of Agriculture cooperated with the Dutch Climate and Development Fund to carry out the first phase of the “Sustainable Coffee Development” project and distribute coffee saplings to 21 families. He said that the coffee seedlings provided to farmers are weather tolerant, soil tolerant, and disease resistant to local soil conditions. These coffee varieties have been studied in detail by the technical team of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and in cooperation with the technical partners of the Institute of Agriculture and Forestry Science in seed production and coffee cultivation.
ChhayMony confirmed the strong will of the company and the Ministry of Agriculture to provide support to coffee farmers in Mondulkiri Province to enhance the quality of coffee beans and expand coffee cultivation according to technical standards, increase productivity to meet market demand, and maintain the value of local coffee products. These are the main factors that contribute to improving the standard of living of the indigenous people of Mondulkiri. In the next step, the company will continue to cooperate with the Provincial Department of Agriculture to train farmers on planting, conservation and collection techniques to ensure that high-quality coffee products can participate in market competition.