Preah Vihear Province Exports More Than 100 Tons of Nam Wa Bananas Every Day​

Nam Wa Banana

Preah Vihear province exports more than 100 tons of Nam Wa bananas to the domestic markets every day to meet the needs of consumers and processing.

Peng Trida, the Director of Preah Vihear Provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries told the National Radio of Cambodia that daily, 20 trucks carrying more than 100 tons of bananas leave for Phnom Pehn and Siem Reap and many more provinces. 

He stated, “Every evening, I see 20 trucks leaving the province. Some trucks leave for Phnom Pehn, and some leave for Siem Reap. Buyers use bananas to make cakes and many other things. It is very abundant when it approaches Uposatha [Buddhist day of observance] because there is a great demand for bananas on Uposatha.  You can also take it to the pagodas to give it to the monks. Although the fruit is not very big, it tastes sweet and delicious.” 

Nam Wa banana (official name: Pisang Awak) is grown ubiquitously in Southeast Asia. For instance, in Preah Vihear province, ten thousand hectares (100 million m2 ) of arable land is used to plant this breed of bananas. It expands over three districts, namely Tbeng Mean Chey, Kulen, and Srok Sangkum Thmey districts. 

Mr. Trida added that Preah Vihear is blessed with rich topography that supports the farming of other cash crops, including cassava, rice, cashew, pepper, and pumpkin. These farms cover an area of roughly eighty thousand hectares. 

Many households in rural areas plant Nam Wa banana because it is easy to grow. Once the farmers plant the first seedlings, they will grow in fruitful trees that will then drop more stalks of the fruits, resulting in more banana trees. This process continues in a cycle.  

All parts of the Nam Wa banana (the stems, leaves, fruits, and banana blossoms) are useful. These parts can be processed into food, desserts, herbs, as well as packaging materials. Unripe bananas can be used as pickles and help to soothe stomach and intestine pains. Ripe bananas can be prepared to make banana fritters, sweet bananas, banana cakes, and fried rice. As for the banana tree, it can be used in sour soups and can be carved into ornaments during the Buddhist festivals. Lastly, banana leaves can pack food. 

By: Pon Lorngdy