SIEM REAP, Aug 28 (Bernama) -- Indonesia will soon sign an agreement to import 100,000 metric tonnes of rice from Cambodia over the next five years.
Speaking after the opening of the 44th Asean economic ministerial meeting by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen here Monday, Indonesian Trade minister Gita Wirjawan said his country will also sign an agreement to procure rice from Laos, Vietnam and other countries.
The move is made by the Indonesian government to strengthen food resilience and to ensure food security, ANTARA news agency reported.
Indonesian businesses in Cambodia have hailed the government's decision to sign the MoU on rice with Cambodia.
Business development director of PT Galuh Prabu Trijaya, Mohamad Helmi, said: "The agreement would help Indonesian business people in Cambodia expand their businesses under a legal umbrella."
Operating in Cambodia since 2005, the company has assisted local farmers with planting crops and supplying them with fertilisers from Indonesia. It now controls more than 1.2 million hectares of rice fields.
Mohamad said that Cambodian farmers at present produce only 2 tonnes of rice per hectare and harvest twice a year.
"But with better technology and fertilisers, they can produce up to 7 tonnes per hectare and harvest three times in a year."
"Our company has brought in more than 300 farmers from Indonesia to help local farmers in Komping Thom and Kompong Cham among other places in Cambodia," he said.
Rudy Halim, a business trader from PT Padi Tonle, expressed the need for legal support for Indonesian businesses in Cambodia.
"It must never happen that our investment suffers due to lack of government protection," he said.
On his part, Hun Sen invited Indonesian investors to invest in post-harvest businesses such as rice hulling in Cambodia, which has a rice production surplus of 100,000 tonnes.