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Climate Change Means Boom Time for Cambodian Rice Exporters

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CAMBODIA: It’s not every day you hear about a positive impact of climate change, But Cambodia’s rice farmers stand to benefit over the next ten years, as the market share of top exporters India, Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan and the United States decline. The projection has been made by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, as well as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Its 10-year outlook projects world trade in cereals, including rice, to rise by 21% and that Cambodia and Myanmar are expected to play an increasingly important role.

It’s price variability that’s expected to help Cambodia, with climate change predicted to play havoc with rice prices over the next ten years. Indica rice – accounting for the vast majority of Cambodia’s rice production is expected to fare better price-wise than Japonica rice, in a warming and drying climate.

Recent investments in rice production in Cambodia are also forecast to increase the country’s global competitiveness. As the export share of the world’s top five rice exporters fall, Cambodia is well-placed to pick up the slack. The outlook expects rice shipments from Cambodia and Myanmar to more than double by 2030, from 4 million tons to 10 million tons.

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