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  Cambodia

Reference Date: 18-May-2020

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Above‑average plantings of 2020 paddy crop expected, driven by strong demand and Government support measures

  2. Cereal production in 2019 estimated at above‑average level

  3. Exports of rice in 2020 forecast at above‑average level

  4. Prices of rice generally stable in April

Above‑average plantings of 2020 paddy crop expected, driven by strong demand and Government support measures

The bulk of the 2020 main season paddy crop, accounting for more than 80 percent of the national annual production, is expected to be planted between late May and August, with the onset of the monsoon rains. Overall, sustained domestic and international demand and official programmes promoting paddy production are expected to keep the area planted at an above‑average level. The 2020 secondary season paddy crop will be planted towards the end of the year.

Planting operations for the 2020 main season maize crop, for harvest in September‑October, just started. The area planted is expected at an above‑average level, supported by the strong demand of the feed industry.

Cereal production in 2019 estimated at above‑average level

The 2019 season was completed at the end of April. The aggregate cereal output, mainly rice and maize, is estimated at 11.8 million tonnes, about 9 percent above the five‑year average.

The monsoon rains (May‑October) started with a delay of almost two months, which had a negative impact on the early-planted summer crops. The maize crop was particularly affected as the months between May and July are critical for planting and crop development, as moisture deficits during this period have a more acute impact on maize crop growth. Rains improved from late July and remained close to the average levels until October bringing some relief to the dry weather affected areas. These rains allowed planting progress of the paddy crop to reach the high level of 2018 and supported the generally near‑average growing conditions for the country’s main paddy crop.

The aggregate production of paddy is officially estimated at 10.8 million tonnes, close to previous year’s high level. The 2019 maize crop is officially estimated at an above‑average level of 895 000 tonnes, and well below last year’s record level when favourable weather supported the high level of plantings and yields. The output of cash crops, including mug bean, soybeans, sesame and groundnuts, also decreased year on year due to dry weather conditions, but remained above the five‑year average.

Exports of rice in 2020 forecast at above‑average levels

Rice exports in the 2020 calendar year are forecast above the five‑year average, reflecting ample exportable availabilities following the above‑average 2019 output and sustained international demand.

Prices of rice generally stable in April

Wholesale prices of rice were generally stable in April 2020 and were generally below or close to their year‑earlier levels, reflecting adequate market availabilities from the 2019 harvest.

COVID-19 and measures adopted by the Government

Starting from mid‑March 2020, the Government adopted several measures to prevent the spread of COVID‑19, including restrictions on international travel, tightened controls of movement of people, the nationwide closure of educational institutions and the postponement of major holidays. Agricultural activities are authorized to continue operating.

In mid‑April 2020, the Government announced a USD 2 billion stimulus package, to cope with the impacts of COVID 19. The package includes, tax concessions, credit support for affected businesses and social protection measures, especially for poor and vulnerable households. On 3 April 2020, the Ministry of Economy and Finance decided to establish a task force to control the supply and prices of strategic goods, including rice, salt, vegetables, fish and meat as well as pharmaceutical and medical equipment.

In addition, the Government suspended exports of white and paddy rice and fish from 5 April 2020 until further notice to ensure adequate supplies in domestic markets during the COVID‑19 pandemic.

Disclaimer: The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.