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- Sea Salt-

Kampot province is famous for its salt fields. Kampot’s salt is of a more natural quality than salts produced in foreign countries, since no factories are used in its developmental process.

Over a thousand hectares of land in Kampot are used as salt fields, and you can find them on the road from Kampot to Kep. Salt production in Cambodia is limited to the dry season months. The pools are filled with ocean water and the water is allowed to evaporate leaving salt crystals. The process is repeated several times and the salt is then collected and delivered to a salt factory where it is cleaned and iodine is added.

Salt is an indispensable food product and important source of nutrition for humans. In Cambodia, salt production is highly depending on weather conditions. If the weather condition is good the yields are very favorable. In order to get the final salt product a stepwise production process is required that takes around 30 to 45 days including the addition of iodine substance before market distribution is possible.

There is a saying “meal without salt is like cake without sugar”. Kampot is where salt is produced for local consumption and export. Although Kampot is known for production of iodized salt, there had been only limited success in producing it in large quantities. This was due to the scattered of many small to medium sized salt producers in Kampot and Kep provinces and the lack of infra structures, investment fund, and legislation requiring them to iodize all their salt. Before Pol Pot regime, only a few businessmen owned some 3,000 hectares of salt farming land. They hired workers to work in their farms. They market their product all over the country.

During Khmer Rouge time, salt farming was established in the form of socialist cooperative. The salt product from this field was reported moderate quality. Kompong Trach, Ses Sor and Kep were empty land during that time.
During the State of Cambodia most of salt farming lands are occupied by the State through public entrepreneurs. Some were controlled by private corporative sectors.
The basis for production and supply of iodized salt in Cambodia is the production and harvesting of solar salt in Kampot and Kep provinces.
Annual production of iodized salt ranges from 72,000 to 106,000 MT depending on weather conditions and the duration of the overcast period during the production season.

The salt fields are closed to the ocean, and water is let in from the ocean to the fields. The fields are then blocked from the ocean, and the water is allowed to evaporate, leaving salt crystals. This process is repeated many times. The raw salt is then collected and piled up in warehouses in the salt fields. Then, it's delivered to the salt factory, where it is cleaned, Iodine is added, and packaged in 50 Kilogram bags, for shipment throughout the country. All salt production is done without any machines - all manual work by humans, mostly women.

  • Production: Kep-Kampot’s salt producing fields comprise 4,476 hectare. Yields are approximately 140,000 tons per year for good weather condition; however, too heavy rain can reduce the output to 13,000 tons per year (which causes a shortage of salt in the domestic market)

  • Producers: In total, 185 groups of salt producers exist in Kep and Kampot. Salt producing fields located along coastal line from Kep reach from Thmey village, Boeung Touk Commune, Kampot District to Loke village, Ruessy Sroke Commune, Kampong Trarch District, which is next to the Vietnamese border.

  • Market: Domestic market.