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King of Spice: Pepper Farming on Rise in Cambodia

The ministry of agriculture reports, the number of plantations has increased from 1400 hectares in 2012 to 6000 hectares in 2016

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Kampot province in Cambodia is popularly known for its pepper farming business. Kampot pepper has been renowned for decades as one of the best peppers in the world. The rich farming soil in this region produces high-quality pepper that has joined an elite group of food items recognised and protected by the European Union.

According to the Indian spice company group Nedspice’s annual pepper report, since 2006, pepper commodity prices have been in a “bull market” and were still reaching new highs as of February. The estimation by Nedspice said, 40 to 45 percent of global consumption takes place in Asia.

  • Kampot pepper can sell for up to 20,000 dollars per tonne on the market. Whereas, pepper from other provinces averages out to 75 per tonne on the market.
  • Pepper farming is becoming increasingly popular in Cambodia. The ministry of agriculture reports that the number of plantations has increased from 1400 hectares in 2012 to 6000 hectares in 2016.

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  • The total yield average is approximately 11,400 tonnes of black pepper per year. Although pepper farming in Cambodia has increased in the last several years, 2016 was a difficult harvest.
Pepper farming in Cambodia. Image source: www.youtube.com
Pepper farming in Cambodia. Image source: www.youtube.com
  • “This year, it’s difficult to get a good crop because of the drought… and the crop itself doesn’t grow big like it’s supposed to. This year we didn’t expect to get a good crop”, said Ngoun Lay from Pepper Association in an interview conducted by NewsGram.

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  • Cambodia’s ministry of agriculture says it is looking for funding to help farmers find alternative water sources to irrigate their fields but farmers claim that so far no help has come.

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  • “What we want is water, we need resources. The government can help us to dig ponds and well again. The water is important to us because when we’re farming we need water” said Ngoun Lay highlighting the lack of water sources.
  • Although, Cambodians have tax-free access to the European Union. Farmers growing pepper in other provinces sell yo Vietnam where companies have greater access to international markets whether it’s the elite Kampot pepper or the ordinary kind, spice will continue to keep farmers in business across the country if they can find enough water to irrigate their fields.

– by Akansha Sharma of NewsGram. Twitter: Akansha4117

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British Parliament To Vote On Withdrawal Agreement Negotiated With The EU

Some lawmakers have proposed holding a second referendum like the one in 2016 that set Britain on the path toward leaving the EU.

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Britain, European Union, May
Anti-Brexit supporters hold European Union flags as they demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament on Jan. 14, 2019. VOA

Britain’s parliament votes Tuesday on the withdrawal agreement that Prime Minister Theresa May’s government negotiated with the European Union.

May canceled a previous vote in December when it was clear she did not have enough votes for the deal to pass, and since then little seems to have changed.

Both pro- and anti-Brexit lawmakers oppose the terms of the agreement. May sought to garner last-minute support Monday by asking them to examine it again while warning of the consequences if the deal fails.

The biggest point of contention has been the arrangement to have an open border between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland that would keep Britain in some way tied to EU trade policies until the two sides can negotiate a new trade deal.

In a Tuesday radio interview International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said it was not acceptable for the unelected House of Lords to try to block the democratic will of the British people, who voted by a 52-48 margin in June, 2016 to leave the EU.
The Independent newspaper Tuesday night reported that May was preparing for a Brexit meeting with select cabinet ministers Wednesday at which they will try to come up with a joint position on post-withdrawal customs relations following rejection of Britain’s existing proposals. wikimedia commons

EU leaders said Monday the so-called “backstop” arrangement would only be in place as long as necessary.

Negotiators from Britain and the European Union agreed to the terms of the Brexit deal in November after difficult talks, and if the British parliament votes against the agreement there is great uncertainty about what will happen next.

Also Read: Brexit Consequences Getting Tougher for Theresa May

May would have until next Monday to put forth a new proposal. There is also the chance Britain could reach its March 29 withdrawal deadline with no terms in place to specify just how it will relate to the European Union when it is no longer a member.

Some lawmakers have proposed holding a second referendum like the one in 2016 that set Britain on the path toward leaving the EU. Others want parliament to take control of the Brexit process from May and her Cabinet. (VOA)