ASEAN Delegates to Regional Meetings in Cambodia Visit Golden Rice (Cambodia) Factory

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Oudong District, Kampong Speu Province, Cambodia (Oct. 26, 2010) – A 40-member delegation from China, Japan, South Korea, and member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), toured Golden Rice (Cambodia) factory today as part of their visit to Cambodia on the occasion of the 32nd Meeting of ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF), jointly held with the 10th Meeting of AMAF plus Three (China, Japan, and South Korea).

The delegation was led by H.E. Dr. Segfredo Serrano, Undersecretary of Department of Agriculture, Philippines and H.E. Mr San Vanty, Undersecretary of state of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. The visit was coordinated by Mr. Ty Channa, Deputy Director of the Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI).

Dr. Sok Hach, President of Golden Rice (Cambodia) Co., Ltd., made a 30-minute presentation about the company and the rice industry in Cambodia, in front of the delegates, who came from various backgrounds—from agriculture officials, to agriculture specialists and journalists.

During his presentation, Dr. Sok Hach emphasized the government’s strong political will to promote rice exports and to support the country in becoming one of the largest rice exporters in the world by exporting 1 million ton of milled rice by 2015, which encourages the establishment of modern rice milling factories to fulfill that goal.

Thanks to the financial support of the French Development Agency (AFD), Golden Rice (Cambodia) has been among the very first modern rice milling companies able to export high-quality rice to high-end markets, such as France and Singapore.

While highlighting the potential of Cambodia to export the finest quality fragrant Jasmine rice, which grows naturally in the northern region of Cambodia, Dr. Sok Hach also acknowledged the difficulties that modern rice mills face in Cambodia. For instance, the competition to purchase Jasmine rice and the lack of storage capability means that the company’s paddy collectors must travel to the fields during harvest season and pay in cash to secure their supplies of paddy rice. The lack of local high-skilled technicians and workers is another handicap for any investors, who must bring in foreign technicians and engineers, Dr. Sok Hach added. However, Golden Rice (Cambodia), with its all-Cambodian staff, established its own team of carefully selected Cambodian engineers, who acquired additional and news skills through reverse engineering.

During a tour of the factory, ASEAN delegates could witness first-hand the processing and packaging of rice, using Japanese leader SATAKE’s most advanced equipment.

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Mr. Sok Hach (right), President, Golden Rice (Cambodia), welcomes H.E. Dr. Segfredo Serrano (left), Undersecretary, Department of Agriculture, Philippines. A Golden Rice (Cambodia) technician makes a demonstration of a rice milling test to the ASEAN delegates.
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ASEAN delegates check the brand package of Golden Rice (Cambodia) products. Delegates came from all ASEAN countries, China, Japan, and South Korea.