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    Collective rice trademark set to boost confidence, exports

    Hom Phanet

    ANN/THE PHNOM PENH POST – The collective trademark of Sen Kra’op (SKO) fragrant rice and Damnoeb Sbai Mongkul (DSMK) Cambodian premium glutinous rice was inaugurated to increase exporters’ confidence and boost exports of milled rice to the global markets.

    At the inauguration, Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak hailed the registration process of the two classes of rice, under a single collective trademark, as a sign of progress for the Cambodian rice sector at all levels, from the actors involved in the preparation of the seeds, to those who sell the grain to end consumers.

    The minister noted that SKO short-term variety, with growth period of 115-120 days, plays an important role in export.

    He assured that the ministry pays equal attention to all segments of the rice sector, whether its exports or the plight of smallholder farmers. The ministry strives to help smallholders prepare themselves better, especially by promoting markets on their behalf.

    This includes contract farming between them and the rice mills via the Accelerating Inclusive Markets for Smallholders (AIMS) project – jointly created by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the government.

    “Although the global landscape is affected by COVID-19, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which has led to the price increase in fertilisers, pesticides and fuel, I am confident that this difficult situation will be resolved.

    “(And) our milled rice exports will increase further in line with what is being done now, (as well as) building consumer confidence through the SKO-DSMK collective trademark,” he said.

    “Collective trademarks” are intellectual property (IP) assets based on an underlying ecosystem of businesses, merchants and professionals from the same industry or geographical region that typically pool resources, share information and provide other benefits among members.

    Registration of these trademarks is handled by the Commerce Ministry, which also grants ownership to a managing organisation. The SKO-DSMK collective trademark is owned by the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF). General Directorate of Agriculture Chief Ngin Chhay said that at present, SKO-01, the first-generation of SKO rice, is popular, as it provides high yield, is aromatic and of good quality, and is soft and delicious.

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