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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mong Reththy inks livestock deal with UK

Mong Reththy inks livestock deal with UK

Agreement seals plans to build $27m meat and dairy farm

CAMBODIA’S Mong Reththy Group (MRG) and British farming firm Lordswood Farm Ltd have inked a deal to set up a US$27 million joint-venture cow and goat farm in Cambodia.

The deal was announced Wednesday by EBLEX, a British government-backed organisation that brokered the deal between the two countries.
The farm will produce beef, dairy and goat products for the local market.

Spokespeople for the Mong Reththy Group and EBLEX declined to disclose the ownership split for the farm, though Mong Reththy, the president of the eponymous conglomerate, told the Post in August it would be divided evenly between the two partners.

It was a very important deal for the Cambodian food sector.

EBLEX’s Export Manager Jean-Pierre Garnier said the deal was an important step for Cambodia to move from being a meat-importing nation to potentially exporting in the future.
“It was a very important deal for the Cambodian food sector, and they want the best partners,” he said by telephone from Germany. “The UK is a world leader in the hi-tech aspects of livestock raising.”

He added that no live animals would be shipped, but that $1 million worth of bovine semen and embryos would make the trip from the UK’s Lordswood Farm under a separate agreement.

The deal follows another EBLEX-brokered deal to establish a joint-venture pig operation in Cambodia in which 600 Yorkshire pigs were shipped to the Kingdom to be raised by the Mong Reththy Group. Garnier said the joint venture was already reaching its production targets, which he said augured well for the latest venture.

The Mong Reththy Group declined to comment on the deal. However, Mong Reththy told the Post in August he expected work on the farm would begin early next year. The 200 hectare-farm would be located in the Oknha Mong Port development zone in Preah Sihanouk province, which is owned by the group in a joint venture with Thailand’s TCCI, he said

Almost 40 tonnes of beef was imported in 2008 to meet a shortfall, official figures show.

Garnier said Southeast Asia has become a key market for EBLEX, along with Central and Eastern Europe. It is a division of the government’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, which was set up in April 2008 to boost farm-sector competitiveness.

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