More than 40 rice millers have applied for quality checks to allow for export to China but most have not yet reached a high enough standard, the Agriculture Ministry said.
Applications were received in a second call for expressions of interest after 28 millers gained certification in the first round.
Hean Vanhan, director-general of the ministry’s general directorate of agriculture, said most of the millers have not done enough preparation for the quality checks.
“The Agriculture Ministry will conduct a workshop this month to help them learn about the policies and preparation for the checks,” he said.
“We want to help them pass the inspections for quality checks made by our officials and Chinese experts.”
He added that the ministry will send officials to check rice millers’ quality three weeks after the workshop.
Mr. Vanhan said he was not sure how long the quality checks by local officials and Chinese experts would take, but said millers which passed in the second round will join the other 28 in shipping 200,000 metric tons a year to China.
He also said that millers who failed in the first round are among the 40.
The ministry started their inspection of 60 millers in October, and in November, a group of Chinese experts inspected the quality and safety of the 28 successful rice mills during a week-long visit in Cambodia. All of them passed.
But only 18 of them were given priority to export rice to China due to their experience of Chinese markets, according to Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF).
“After a discussion between the Chinese company COFCO, CRF, and Green Trade from December, in Beijing, three parties agreed to allow the first 18 local rice mills to start fulfilling the export quota as most of these companies have experience exporting rice to China in the past,” Hun Lak, CRF vice president said previously.
China tops the biggest markets for Cambodia’s milled rice last year, with the country’s total 542,144 metric tons, 127,000 metric tons of which were shipped to China.
Cambodian milled rice exports reached 109,000 metric tons in the first two months this year, up 14 percent over a year before, according to the ministry’s month report. Of this, 46,000 metric tons were sent to China.