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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Australian cows to give boost to local livestock

Australian cows to give boost to local livestock

091230_07
Bulls are lined up to be judged in Australia. A local association plans to introduce cattle from Australia to boost Cambodia meat trade.

Association to promote Brahman cattle to farmers next month.

ASPECIALIST cattle-breeding association is to run an exhibition next month to promote a new breed of livestock it says will give a boost to Cambodia’s beef trade.

The Cambodian Brahman Breeders’ Association (CBBA) said it wants to encourage farmers to raise high-yield, internationally renowned Brahman cattle for domestic sale, maximising potential profits for rural families.

A spokesman for the group said that the CBBA will hold a show about the breed January 7-9 in the Lvea Em district of Kandal province.

“We want to create opportunities for farmers to raise this new species of cattle and meet the future demands of the beef trade,” Chheang Pou Ny, the association’s Brahman breeding supervisor, said. “It can also be a large source of income for families.”

According to a report from the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, 3.4 million cattle were raised in the Kingdom in 2008. Nearly all of those were from local species, which produce less meat than Brahmans.

Modern Brahmans were first bred in America in the early 1900s and are a mixture of four Indian cattle breeds. They soon spread throughout the world and have been named by the Australian Brahman Breeders’ Association as “the greatest livestock revolution in history”. The group says the cow’s hardiness and tolerance to heat rescued cattle farming in Northern Australia.

Since spending US$500,000 on importing five Brahman cows from Australia and 10 from Thailand in June 2009, the CBBA has already raised 115 cattle in Cambodia using artificial-insemination techniques.

Chheang Pou Ny said that the organisation wants to produce another 400 animals in the next year. It hopes that within a decade, between 500 and 1,000 Brahman cattle will be available for slaughter every day to feed the domestic meat market.

The group also hopes to encourage Cambodian farmers to consider using modern technology to support their cows, rather than relying on traditional cattle-farming methods passed down through their ancestors.

The government has welcomed moves to encourage farmers to consider investing in different cattle species and using contemporary farming methods to raise their herds, for the sake of economic growth.

But Sein Sovan, deputy secretary general of the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, said Monday that had not been made aware of the association’s scheme.

“We are not sure yet whether the association’s business plan will happen, as we have not received any documents with detailed reports from the group yet,” he said.

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