Kampot Pepper Price Crisis

 Kampot pepper farmers are facing problems, according to a report by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Although Kampot pepper farmers have lowered prices, there is still no market or buyers for the product.

According to Sim Thy, a Kampot pepper farmer in Kampong Trach district,  the Kampot pepper market is different than before.

“In the past, the farmers had quite a few buyers, and sometimes they  sold pepper to many traders,” he said. “Now, it is possible to produce pepper, but no buyers come to buy anything, meaning the processed pepper has to be kept and wait for traders, who buy occasionally in small quantities.”

Previously, Kampot pepper prices were as high as $ 28 per kilogram for white pepper, $ 25 for red pepper and A minimum of $ 15 for black pepper, but now black pepper prices sell only 20,000 riel or $ 5 a kilogram, meaning growers are now facing difficulties.

“If you listen to the news, Kampot pepper seems to be very strong and the growers are so enormous,” he said. But if it is too deep, then it is very difficult to know what the problem is. ”

He said that this year, his pepper yield had dropped sharply because of poor weather since the beginning of the year. “The fall in yield is not a problem for farmers, but what is worse is the price drop,” he said. “Also,  farmers who take capital from the bank or from microfinance  face more difficulties. ”

Another farmer who produces about half a tonne of Kampot pepper a year said that this year, if there were buyers in Kampot, he would sell for only 20,000 riel a kilo and not to wait for the standard price set by the association.

“I do not expect to get the same price as before, because if the market is narrower and farmers are forced to sell pepper at a low price to external buyers “.

Despite this, Nguon Lay, the Kampot Pepper Association president emphasized that small farmers are the ones who are dropping the price themselves, not the association.

“I realize that this year’s pepper market is quite clear because buyers do not have as many orders”

He said the pepper price drop was only from small farmers who only have a small amount of product and were afraid to wait for the market, as they need a quick money to pay to the micro-finance bank, so are forced to sell pepper at a cheap price.

“When farmers drop this price, other businesses are waiting for the price drop.  If bought by the association, the price is set at standard, but if bought from farmers, they can make a lot of profit. Obviously, one kilogram of pepper is $ 25, it can be bought from 50,000 to 60,000 riel, and black pepper for $ 15. They buy from only 20,000 riel per kilogram. That is why they are only waiting to buy from farmers only without going through the association. ”


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