By Chakriya Khiev


When Cambodia won the World’s Best Rice Award for the fragrant rice variety, Phka Rumdoul, we were both thrilled and proud. 


We don’t like to rattle our own gong too often but this time it was warranted. 


CAPRED is proud to be part of Australia’s long history of supporting the Cambodian agricultural industry, and especially rice. All the way back to the post-war years and helping Cambodians to regain lost varieties and start exporting for the first time. 


Rice is one of Cambodia’s most important strategic sectors in ensuring national food security, supporting economic growth, creating jobs, and contributing to economic resilience. 


From 2010 to 2021, paddy rice production increased from 8 million tons to 12 million tons. At the same time, rice exports tripled from 200,000 tons equaling USD 139 million in 2012, to 620,000 tons equaling to USD 527 million in 2021.


Today, CAPRED is still supporting the Cambodian rice industry. One of our key activities is helping the Cambodian Rice Federation (CRF) to develop and register new rice varieties and brands. These include premium jasmine rice, Malys Angkor, fragrant rice, Sen Kra Ob, and glutinous rice, Damnoeb Sbai Mongkul. 


We are also working with our close partners, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the General Directorate of Agriculture, and the Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) to develop and implement the upcoming Seed Quality Improvement Project.   


This week, CAPRED supported the CRF Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Election for the 4th Mandate for the official announcement of the new CRF President and Chairman. Key discussion topics were increasing paddy rice production and leveraging Cambodian rice brands in the international market. 


The AGM was attended by H.E Aun Pornmoniroth, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic and Finance, H.E Pan Sorasak, Minister of Commerce, H.E Kao Thach, CEO of Agriculture and Rural Development Bank (ARDB), H.E Chan Chesda, Secretary of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and Andreas Zurbrugg, Deputy Head of Mission, Australian Embassy.


There were also over a hundred participants including government counterparts, development partners, rice millers, exporters, and other stakeholders. 


Australia is keen to explore new and modern technology through CAPRED’s on-the-ground agricultural projects.


“Australia is helping to arrange agriculture technology to strengthen the quality and sustainability of rice production including rice seeders, laser land levellers and pesticide drones,” said Andreas Zurbrugg.


During his closing remarks, H.E Aun Pornmoniroth expressed gratitude to the Australian government and people for supporting the Cambodian rice sector since the 1960s until today. 

“This support has made the Cambodia rice sector grow remarkably, and I encourage Australian Government to actively continue this support to Cambodia,” he said. 


Learn more about CAPRED’s agriculture work