The rice of Cambodia today


Introduction about Cambodian country and peoples

Cambodia officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. With a total landmass of 181,035 km2 (69,898 sq mi), it is bordered by Thailand to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Vietnam to the east, and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest.
In the nearly historical period of Cambodia is well known with The Khmer Rouge literally translated as Red Khmers that had been ruling in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, led by Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen, and Khieu Samphan. The Khmer Rouge had directly killed more than a million Cambodians from executions and a million of others died from overwork, starvation and disease, out of a total population of 8 million in this period.

The Nature

Cambodia lies entirely within the tropics, between latitudes 10° -15°N, and longitudes 102° -108°E. It borders Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. It has a 443-kilometer (275 mi) coastline along the Gulf of Thailand.
Cambodia’s landscape is characterized by a low-lying central plain that is surrounded by uplands and low mountains and includes the Tonle Sap (Great Lake) and the upper reaches of the Mekong River delta. Extending outward from this central region are transitional plains, thinly forested and rising to elevations of about 200 m (650 feet) above sea level. To the north the Cambodian plain abuts a sandstone escarpment, which forms a southward-facing cliff stretching more than 320 km (200 miles) from west to east and rising abruptly above the plain to heights of 180 to 550 m (600 to 1,800 feet). This escarpment marks the southern limit of the Dângrêk Mountains.
Flowing south through the country’s eastern regions is the Mekong River. East of the Mekong the transitional plains gradually merge with the eastern highlands, a region of forested mountains and high plateaus that extend into Laos and Vietnam. In southwestern Cambodia two distinct upland blocks, the Krâvanh Mountains and the Dâmrei Mountains, form another highland region that covers much of the land area between the Tonle Sap and the Gulf of Thailand. In this remote and largely uninhabited area, Phnom Aural, Cambodia’s highest peak, rises to an elevation of 5,949 feet (1,813 metres). The southern coastal region adjoining the Gulf of Thailand is a narrow lowland strip, heavily wooded and sparsely populated, which is isolated from the central plain by the southwestern highlands.
The most distinctive geographical feature is the inundations of the Tonle Sap (Great Lake), measuring about 2,590 km2 (1,000 sq mi) during the dry season and expanding to about 24,605 km2 (9,500 sq mi) during the rainy season. This densely populated plain, which is devoted to wet rice cultivation, is the heartland of Cambodia. Much of this area has been designated as abiosphere reserve.
Cambodia's climate, like that of the rest of Southeast Asia, is dominated by monsoons, which are known as tropical wet and dry because of the distinctly marked seasonal differences.
Cambodia has a temperature range from 21 to 35 °C (69.8 to 95 °F) and experiences tropical monsoons. Southwest monsoons blow inland bringing moisture-laden winds from the Gulf of Thailand and Indian Ocean from May to October. The northeast monsoon ushers in the dry season, which lasts from November to March. The country experiences the heaviest precipitation from September to October with the driest period occurring from January to February.
Cambodia has two distinct seasons. The rainy season, which runs from May to October, can see temperatures drop to 22 °C (71.6 °F) and is generally accompanied with high humidity. The dry season lasts from November to April when temperatures can rise up to 40 °C (104 °F) around April.

The short history

Before 1863 Cambodia was an independing absolute or monarchy  state
The King of Cambodia is the head of state of the Kingdom of Cambodia. The King's power is limited to that of a symbolic figurehead to whom people are to give love and respect. The monarch also represents peace, stability, and prosperity to the Khmer people. The King of Cambodia is an elected monarch, making Cambodia one of the few elected monarchies of the world.
The last Cambodian king before 1863:
The King Ang Duong (1796-1860) the time of Reign (1641-1860).
          French protectorate of Cambodia (1863-1953)
The list of Cambodia in this period:
1-The King Norodom (I) (1834-1904), the time of Reign (1860-1904).
2-The King Sisiwath (1840-1927), the time of Reign (1904-1927).
3-The King Sosiwath Monivong (1875-1941), the time of Reign (1927-1941).
3-The King Norodom (II) Sihanouk (31/10/1922-today), the time of Reign (25/4/1941-2/3/1953).
In 1863, Cambodia under king Norodom I became a protectorate of France.
In 1884, the French authorities forced King Norodom I to sign a treaty giving the French Protectorate virtually complete administrative control over Cambodia, including finances, a life line of Norodom's rule. Norodom resisted but with the French gunboats anchored outside the front gate of the royal palace he had no choice but to sign.
The French moved the capital from Oudong to Phonm Penh. Norodom could do nothing to prevent this, and died in 1904 in Phnom Penh. His body was cremated in the traditional Buddhist fashion in 1906.
He is considered to be the first modern king of Cambodia.
          Merge into Indochinese Union (1987-1953)
Cambodia became a part of French Indochina (1887).
In October 1887, the French announced the formation of the Union Indochinoise  (Union of Indochina), which at that time comprised Cambodia, already an autonomous French possession, and the three regions of Vietnam (Tonkin, Annam, and Cochinchina).In 1893, Laos was annexed after the French threatened Siam's King Chulalongkorn with war, thereby forcing him to give up the territory.
Cambodia, being a constituent protectorate of French Indochina, was governed by the Résident Supérieur (Resident-General) for Cambodia, who was directly appointed by the Ministry of Marine and Colonies in Paris.
In 1904, King Norodom I died. The French chose The King Sisiwath (1840-1927), the time of Reign (1904-1927). After that was The King Sosiwath Monivong (1875-1941), the time of Reign (1927-1941).King Monivong died in April 1941. After that King Norodom Shianouk was chosen.
During the tumultuous period between 1946 and 1953, Sihanouk displayed the remarkable aptitude for political survival that sustained him before and after his fall from power in March 1970.
          Independence (9 November 1953)
In June 1952, Sihanouk announced the dismissal of his cabinet, suspended the constitution, and assumed control of the government as Prime minister.
Cambodia continued as a protectorate of France from 1863 to 1953, administered as part of the colony of French Indochina, though occupied by the Japanese empire from 1941 to 1945.
Between 1874 and 1962, the total population increased from about 946,000 to 5.7 million.
          Effection by Vietnam War
In 1955, upon his father's death in 1960, Sihanouk again became head of state, taking the title of prince.
As the Vietnam War progressed, Sihanouk adopted an official policy of neutrality in the Cold War. Sihanouk allowed the Vietnamese communists to use Cambodia as a sanctuary and a supply route for their arms and other aid to their armed forces fighting in South Vietnam. This policy was perceived as humiliating by many Cambodians.
While visiting Beijing in 1970 Sihanouk was ousted by a military coupled by Prime Minister General Lon Nol and Prince Sisowath Sirik Matak.
Between 1964 and 1975, Republic of Vietnam forces and U.S. forces bombed  on Cambodia about 2,756,941 tons of bombs and there were many hundred of Cambodians died by U.S bombs. Total of U.S bombs were dropped on Cambodia, more than the bombs dropped during all of World War II, including the nuclear strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and likely means Cambodia is the most heavily bombed country in history.
          Khmer Rouge regime
Khmer Rouge is the name from French that was called by Sihanouk to show the Cambodian communism forces, translated into English is “Red Khmer”.
The Khmer Rouge reached Phnom Penh and took power in 1975. The regime, led by Pol Pot, changed the official name of the country to Democratic Kampuchea. The regime modelled itself on Maoist China during the Great Leap Forward. The regime immediately evacuated the cities and sent the entire population on forced marches to rural work projects.
They attempted to rebuild the country's agriculture on the model of the 11th century, discarded Western medicine, and destroyed temples, libraries, and anything considered Western. At least a million Cambodians were killed directly from executions and a million of others died from overwork, starvation and disease, out of a total population of 8 million.
In the late 1960s, an estimated 425,000 ethnic Chinese lived in Cambodia, but by 1984, due to Khmer Rouge killings and to emigration, only about 61,400 Chinese remained in the country. Forced repatriation in 1970 and deaths during the Khmer Rouge era reduced the Vietnamese population in Cambodia from between 250,000-300,000 in 1969 to a reported 56,000 in 1984.
          The peace settlement in Cambodia
In November 1978, Vietnamese troops came in Cambodia to help Cambodian peoples attacking the Khmer Rouge.
Peace efforts began in Paris in 1989 under the State of Cambodia, culminating two years later in October 1991 in a comprehensive peace settlement. The UN was given a mandate to enforce a ceasefire and deal with refugees and disarmament known as the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC).
In 1993, Norodom Sihanouk was restored as King of Cambodia, but all power was in the hands of the government established after the UNTAC sponsored elections.
The Cambodian People's Party (CPP) is the major ruling party in Cambodia. The CPP controls the lower and upper chambers of parliament, with 73 seats in the National Assembly and 43 seats in the Senate. The opposition Sam Rainsy Party is the second largest party in Cambodia with 26 seats in the National Assembly and 2 in the Senate.
          Foreign relations
The foreign relations of Cambodia are handled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under H.E. Hor Namhong.
Cambodia is a member of the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. It is a member of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), ASEAN, and joined the WTO on October 13, 2004.
In 2005 Cambodia attended the inaugural East Asia Summit in Malaysia. On November 23, 2009, Cambodia reinstated the membership to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Cambodia first became a member of IAEA on February 6, 1958 but withdrew its membership on March 26, 2003.
Cambodia has established diplomatic relations with numerous countries including many of its Asian neighbours and many o ther countries on the world.

The Cambodian society and health today

-Population: 14,701,717 (July 2011 est.).
-Age structure: 0-14 years: 32.2% (male 2,375,155/female 2,356,305), 15-64 years: 64.1% (male 4,523,030/female 4,893,761), 65 years and over: 3.8% (male 208,473/female 344,993) (2011 est.)
-Median age: total: 22.9 years, male: 22.2 years, female: 23.7 years (2011 est.)
-Population growth rate:1.698% (2011 est.).
-Birth rate: 25.4 births/1,000 population (2011 est.).
-Death rate: 8.07 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.).
-Net migration rate: -0.34 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.).
-Urbanization: urban population: 20% of total population (2010), rate  of urbanization: 3.2% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.).
-Sex ratio: at birth: 1.045 male(s)/female, under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female, 15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female, 65 years and over: 0.6 male(s)/female, total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2011 est.).
-Infant mortality rate: total: 55.49 deaths/1,000 live births, male: 62.54 deaths/1,000 live births, female: 48.13 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.).
-Life expectancy at birth: total population: 62.67 years, male: 60.31 years, female: 65.13 years (2011 est.).
-Total fertility rate: 2.84 children born/woman (2011 est.).
-HIV/AIDS : adult prevalence rate 0.5% , people living with HIV/AIDS 63,000, deaths 3,100 (2009 est.).
-Major infectious diseases:  degree of risk: very high, food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever,  vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, and malaria 
-Nationality: noun: Cambodian(s) adjective: Cambodian.
-Ethnic groups: Khmer 90%, Vietnamese 5%, Chinese 1%, other 4%.
-Religions: Buddhist (official) 96.4%, Muslim 2.1%, other 1.3%, unspecified 0.2% (1998 census).
-Languages:  Khmer (official) 95%, French, English, Vietnamese, Chinese.
-Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write. Total population: 73.6%, 
male: 84.7% , female: 64.1% (2004 est.)
-School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 10 years,  male: 10 years, female: 9 years (2007).
-Education: expenditures 2.1% of GDP (2009).
-Maternal mortality rate: 290 deaths/100,000 live births (2008).
-Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 28.8% (2008).
-Health expenditures: 5.8% of GDP (2009).
-Physicians density: 0.227 physicians/1,000 population (2008).
-Hospital bed density: 0.1 beds/1,000 population (2004).
Source: The CIA factbook 2012

The potential of rice production in Cambodia

The land for growing rice of Cambodia
Cambodia is one of the countries locates along Mekong River which is one of the biggest and longest rivers in the world. Great location, Cambodia has the great lake, Tonle Sap, in the center of the country. The intersection between the Great lake channel and Mekong creates plain land of million hectares which are good for rice plantation and other related plants. The areas where are low and be flooded during the rainy season, the farmers do Floating Rice during the wet season and Dry Season Rice during the dried season. The farmers start spreading Floating in June and start harvesting in January and February. Northwestern is recognized to be the biggest resource for floating rice product. This kind of rice is naturally grown without using chemical fertilizer. This kind of rice takes time for 8-9 months from spreading crops to harvesting.
For the upper land the farmers grow (transplanting) Wet Season Rice. There are various crops for Wet Season Rice, but the one that we can find a lot is Neang Minh, Neang Kon, Phaka Kakhagney and Fragrant Rice which are produced a lot in northwest and central areas of Cambodia. These types of rice take time from 5 to 6 months from transplanting to harvesting. There are millions tons of these rice are harvested per year.
For Dry Season Rice farmers grow two times per year.
-First they start in December or January and they start harvesting at end February or March.
-Second farmers start growing in May or June and they start harvesting at the end of August and September.
There are many kinds of Dry Season Rice. Farmers buy seeds from neighboring countries especially from Vietnam. So, the quality of this rice is the same as rice in Vietnam and the prices in purchasing this rice is far cheaper comparing to the Wet Season Rice. In the past Cambodian farmers were not interested in growing Dry Season Rice. Cambodia people do not use cook Dry Season Rice for their food because it does not have good taste as the Wet Season ones. Recently because of market potentiality, Cambodian farmers try to maximize growing Dry Season Rice in many regions, in particular, in the central and south-East regions of Cambodia. This country still has many million hectares of land to be invested in both Wet Season and Dry Season Rice farming.
Camrice is a collective group of Cambodia rice millers and rice traders who are equipped with both excellent capacity productions in supplying various types of rice and professional services responding to the requests of the buyers. Camrice has partners around Cambodia, in particular, in north-west, central and southeast of Cambodia.
Camrice has established under the umbrella of supporting and leadership of Small and Medium Industry Association of Cambodia (SMI CAMBODIA). Camrice (Cambodian rice) is focused on agro business both import and export, while SMI CAMBODIA is focusing on general business coordination. For example, supporting business parting, business consultation and identifying resource markets for its members.  
Camrice was established after it had done completely success of rice exporting to numbers of European Countries such as German, Lithuania, Poland, and Belgium. With our professional and responsible rice trading, Europe Union issued LICENSE to import Cambodia Rice to Europe on August 12, 2009.  For the year of 2010, Camrice continues to widen its markets to other countries in Europe and some countries in Asia such as Taiwan, China and Hong Kong.
Camrice has done rice exporting to Europe because of good cooperation of Schepen & Co which a professional brokering company with long experience more than 100 years, and this company knows every well international markets and the situation of Cambodia rice. Schepen & Co. came to meet Camrice through the introduction of International Trade Center (ITC) in the December 2008. ITC and Ministry of Commerce, have always worked closely in doing Cambodia Rice Marketing such as organizing meeting between rice sellers & buyers of Francophone countries, inviting the buyers to visit Cambodia for Cambodia Rice Export opportunity and delegating Cambodia rice millers and traders to take business visits to International Rice Markets.  
The Royal Government of Cambodia leading 
1. The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) has made a strong commitment to ensure further implementation of the Rectangular Strategy-Phase II, following  a successful efforts to lead the Cambodian economy out of the most difficult time of recent global financial crisis and economic downturn.
2. In realizing the vision of agriculture development, the RGC has adopted a three-pronged strategy-productivity enhancement, diversification and agricultural commercialization (from subsistence to commercial agriculture)-through implementing a package of interrelated measures.:
(1) infrastructure building and enhancement (roads, irrigations, energy/electricity and information and communication technologies (ICT);
(2) improvement in the provision of extension services and agricultural inputs;
(3) land management reform;
(4) finance;
(5) marketing;
(6) farmer organization; and
(7) institutional building and coordination.
In the current context, agricultural commercialization has become more dynamic in lights of global economic changes due to increasing food demand and prices.  This trend bears some implications on,  and revives the impetus of, paddy rice and other crops production in Cambodia, which have the potential for further higher growth.  
3. Cambodia has a big potential in paddy rice production in order to increase its milled rice export in the future.  To guide its vision for the preparation of economic development policy, the RGC has an ambition to turn Cambodia into a major “rice - white gold” exporting country in the international market. 
Paddy rice production could reach 7.3 million tons in 2010-2011, after a remarkable rebound over the past decade.  With an estimated domestic consumption of approximately 3.14 million tons of paddy rice, a provision for seeds and harvest loss, statistical data shows a surplus of 3.32 millions, which can be processed into milled rice for export. 
Moreover, as a result of increasing investments in the construction of irrigation systems, paddy rice farming, expansion and intensification of cultivated land, as well as the increasing paddy rice yield (caused by improved irrigation, seeds and fertilizers supply and growing techniques), the RGC expects that rice production will rebound further, allowing Cambodia to achieve a surplus of paddy rice, which will be processed into milled rice for export. In this regard, Cambodia must build a robust, high quality and reliable rice milling industry.  
4. At the same time, Cambodia has a unique opportunity to expand its milled rice market niche in the global markets. The global milled rice trade is estimated to reach 31 million tons in 2010, in which Thailand and Vietnam will remain the biggest supplier of milled rice export, and Cambodia and Myanmar are expected to emerge as new leading milled rice-exporting countries in the near future. 
Furthermore, not only there are not many milled rice-exporting countries, with most of them in Asia, especially Southeast Asia, there are more and more countries such as the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia which have become rice-importing countries. As such, this potential in global milled rice market will provide fresh opportunities for Cambodian farmers.  
5. Realizing this opportunity, the RGC has introduced a series of measures, in cooperation with farmers, rice millers, traders and development partners, to address the many challenges ranging from the high cost of rice processing, transportation, export processing and clearance, to the creation of funds to support and develop agriculture, and the provision of additional fiscal incentives to this sector. The RGC has chosen milled rice as a priority export item and will pay close attention to this policy, based on the following rationales of strategic importance:
-First, the diversification of Cambodia’s sources of growth through increasing paddy rice production and milled rice export could complement other sectoral growth, including garment. 
-Second, the rice sector could have a big potential comparable to that of the garment sector in terms of gross export value and value added generated throughout the supply chain including employment.  If rice export could reach 3 million tons, the total export value would amount to USD 2.1 billion (approximately 20% of GDP) or equivalent to about USD 600 million (approximately 5% of GDP) in value added contribution to the national economy. 
-Third, the promotion of milled rice export is the first step to catalyse the export of other agricultural products such as rubber and other crops.
6. In this context, the RGC will lay out its vision and strategy encompassing  concrete short term policy measures to be implemented immediately, and providing a medium to long term policy direction to promote milled rice export both in terms of quantity and branding of Cambodian milled rice in the global market and setting up institutional arrangements with clear responsibilities assigned to ministries/institutions so as to ensure a rigorous implementation of  this important policy. 
The following table shows the erea, yield and total paddy rice production of Cambodia from 1961to 2010:

Area Harvested (Ha)

Yield (Kg/Ha)

Production (tonnes)































[ ] = Official data | F = FAO estimate | Fc = Calculated data
Source: FAOSTAT | © FAO Statistics Division 2012 | 15 April 2012
2-Cambodia-From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
7-Michael Shean |
8-Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research-

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