Seventy-five percent of Cambodia’s population resides in rural areas, and over 35 percent of the total workforce was directly engaged in the agriculture sector as of 2021. The primary agricultural commodity is rice. Other major crops include cassava, maize, mung bean, and soybean. As a matter of policy, the Cambodian government encourages investment in agriculture, diversification of agricultural products, and investment in improved irrigation and water control. The sector accounted for approximately 22 percent of GDP in 2022. The Cambodian Rice Federation has set a goal of exporting 750,000 tons of milled rice in 2023 and one million tons by 2025. In 2022, Cambodia exported approximately 630,000 tons of milled rice. The Government of Cambodia prioritized the agricultural sector during the pandemic, providing $100 million in low-interest loans to SMEs through the state-owned Rural Development Bank and SME Bank with the goal of increasing agricultural production and the support for economic recovery. Most of the current demand for tractors, tilling equipment, drone insecticide spraying machines, rice milling, drying, and packaging equipment, fertilizers, insecticides, and seed comes from private agribusiness investors.
In June 2022, the Law on Food Safety was enacted, which set out a framework and mechanism to ensure health and food safety for consumers, fair food trade, and adherence to international food safety standards. The Council of Ministers also approved the National Policy for Agriculture Development 2022-2030 in September 2022, aiming to drive the development of modern agriculture with a competitive, sustainable, and inclusive approach. According to the Pentagonal Strategy Phase 1 announced by the new government in August 2023, Cambodia aims to further develop market access for local agriculture products and modernize the agriculture sector.
There is significant potential to expand the production and processing of high yield varieties of rice, cassava, sugarcane, and other crops. Several investment projects for mango and vegetables are underway.
Higher quality seeds, fertilizers, and other agricultural inputs and new technology – such as spraying machines, pest identification drones, cold storage systems, and other equipment and training – would greatly benefit the agriculture sector, which is slowly becoming modernized. There are also opportunities for the establishment of processing plants to add value to basic products for export and domestic consumption. With Cambodia trying to diversify its export market, food safety technology has been in great demand. With limited application of Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) measures, a significant number of Cambodian products continue to be excluded from export markets due to poor hygiene in handling and other contamination concerns.
- Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries
- Ministry of Industry and Handicraft
- Council for the Development of Cambodia
- Cambodia Rice Federation
- World Bank Report June 2022
|Rice Production and Exports
|Total Paddy Rice Surplus for Export
|Total Rice Surplus for Export
|Total Export of Milled Rice
Unit: In Tons
Data Sources: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Cambodian Rice Federation and Mekong Oryza