LAURENT Import Export Company has invested US$1.6 million to build a factory to polish and package rice for export in Battambang Province’s Thma Koul District.
Lim Bun Heng, president of Laurent Import Export Company, said Tuesday that his company plans to build a factory able to process 300 tonnes of rice per day.
Construction will begin in August and be completed in December, Lim Bun Heng said.
“We hope that when the factory is built, the company will be able to export rice in larger amounts into international markets,” Lim Bun Heng said.
Pho Sambo, head of the Industry Office of Battambang’s provincial Department of Industry, Mines and Energy, said Tuesday, that 10 rice-processing factories have been built in the province.
“We support all projects to build such factories in the province, both at present and in the future, because we want our potential fragrant-rice products to be exported in larger quantities in the future,” he said.
Cheam Chan Sophorn, director of the province’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said Battambang remains the country’s leading producer of paddy rice, but it lacks modern processing equipment needed for heavy export.
“I think that if the province has enough modern equipment and factories to process quality rice, rice exports will increase,” he said.
Battambang farmers harvested a total of 760,000 tonnes of paddy in 2009 and 2010 — 730,000 tonnes of rainy-season paddy and 30,000 tonnes of dry-season paddy — according to the provincial Agriculture Department.
Lim Bun Heng said his company processed and sold 14,000 tonnes of rice in 2009, 4,000 tonnes for export. The company plans to process about 25,000 tonnes of rice in 2010, he said, with 10,000 tonnes slated for export.