ASEAN Centre for Cassava Research and Development

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Cambodia remains one of the major cassava growers in ASEAN, much of this being in Battambang Province. In 2012, Cambodia harvested 337,065 Ha, with a yield of 225,882 Hg/Ha and production of 7,613, 697 tons (Source: FAOSTAT). Much of Cambodia’s production is exported to neighbouring Thailand and Vietnam, as well as China. Import restrictions from Thailand during their own harvesting season over the last few years has caused agricultural officials to consider increased processing within the country.

Cambodia’s first bioethanol plant commenced operations in 2008, following Korean investment. It has since experienced some difficulties due to a shortfall in supply of cassava, price fluctuations and various pollution problems. The plant is owned by MH Bio-Energy. Cambodia also supplies Mukak Alcohol of Korea with raw cassava (Link). Idemitsu Kosan of Japan signed an MOU with the Cambodian Government in 2012 to produce ethanol from cassava. The same year also saw investment from Banchak Petroleum of Thailand in both Cambodia and Laos. Japan also completed a study on bio-energy development in 2007, however this was mainly based on jatropha, which has since been plagued with difficulties (a pdf file of the report may be found in our database). China was due to commence construction of a plant in Banteay Meanchey Province in 2012.

These charts indicate that the area under cassava cultivation (harvested) has increased significantly in recent years. There has also been some improvement in yields (remembering that yields are influenced by rainfall, soil, fertilizer, etc.) and production has almost doubled in the last two years, making Cambodia a major player in the cassava market.