Cambodia was expected to export as much as 400,000 tons of milled rice in 2013 thanks to rising demand on international markets and the country's efforts in developing rice industry, Agriculture Minister Chan Sarun said Tuesday.
"We project that Cambodia can export up to 400,000 tons of milled rice this year, up from about 205,000 tons last year," the minister told an agriculture conference.
The projection was based on the export outcome in the first half of this year, he said, adding that the country had exported about 176,000 tons of milled rice in the first six months of this year.
"With this positive result, we believe that the country will be able to achieve the target of 1-million-ton milled rice exports by 2015," he said.
Cambodian rice has been sold to 49 countries around the world, according to the government's report. Five main buyers among them are Poland, France, Thailand, Malaysia and China.
With more than 80 percent of the population being farmers, Cambodia produced 9.31 million tons of paddy rice last year. Of this amount, besides local consumptions, the country has around 3 million tons of milled rice left over for exports this year.
The Asian Development Bank on Monday lent 55 million U.S. dollars to Cambodia for rice commercialization program.
The program, which will run until 2019, would improve crop productivity, access to credit for paddy producers, rice millers and exporters, access to regional and international rice markets, and enhance national and household food security, the bank said in a statement.