Phnom Penh (FN), Aug. 14 – The Council of Ministers has adopted Draft National Policy on Cassava 2020-2025, Government Spokesperson Phay Siphan told Fresh News earlier today.

The decision was made in a cabinet meeting held on Friday at the Peace Palace, chaired by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

The spokesperson said the National Policy on Cassava 2020-2025 prepares Cambodia to become a sustainable producer, processor, and supplier of cassava for the regional and global market.

“Cambodia will make cassava a strategic crop that provides substantial income to farmers and serves as the foundation to develop processing industry in Cambodia,” Siphan said.

According to the United Nations Development Programme, Cassava is the most important upland crop in Cambodia, the second largest agricultural crop after rice.

Reports from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries indicated that cassava is generally grown in Battambang, Pailin, Banteay Meanchey, Oddar Meanchey, and Tbong Khmum. It represents approximately 4 percent of the Kingdom’s GDP.

China is home to the most demanding cassava market in the world. While Cambodia exports 91 percent of its cassava to Thailand and another 8 percent to Vietnam, these two countries are the major global supplier of cassava.

Cambodia exported 3.29 million tons of cassava in 2019, an increase of 27 percent from 2018’s 2.59 million tons, according to the ministry’s report.

Cassava is an agro-commercial crop for export. Although it is not a staple food for the Cambodian people, it is an important food for Indonesians, Indians, Africans and Latin Americans.