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Mong Reththy issues pork warning

MONG Reththy, president of Mong Reththy Group, a company which breeds young pigs to sell to Cambodian farmers for rearing, said Wednesday that demand for pork in Phnom Penh has increased about 20 percent in the past year.

The capital requires about 2,000 pigs per day to meet demand, compared to 1,600 pigs a year ago, he said.

“We may face a serious shortage of pork at market in the future if the well-to-do in the country are not quick enough to invest their wealth in pig raising to help increase supply,” Mong Reththy said.

Pork prices at Phnom Penh’s five main markets have risen 6.5 percent so far this year, Trade Promotion Department figures showed Wednesday, the steepest price rise of any meat on sale.

Duck and beef were stable, and chicken prices fell 1.6 percent over the same period.

According to Mong Reththy, this year 730,000 pigs, worth a combined US$182.5 million, will be required to support Phnom Penh market demand. A live pig of about 100 kilograms or over is worth about 1 million riels ($250).

Chan Socheat, president of the Kampong Speu Pig Raising Association, which supplies 120 pigs per day to Phnom Penh markets, said Wednesday that his association had started pushing members to raise more pigs to benefit from demand.

“We also want the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to have import quotas for pigs clearly limited in order to encourage Cambodian farmers to raise pigs and to help them sell more,” he said.

Last year the ministry licensed five domestic firms to import 800 pigs per day from Thailand to support Phnom Penh market demand. Importers were not matching this figure, said Buth Chanthou, president of Chanthou Meanchey Co, which represents the five companies, because they wanted to give Cambodia’s farmers the opportunity to sell more pigs.

“We import only 650 pigs per day,” he said.

Domestically produced animals sell to slaughterhouses for 200 riels per kilogram less than imported pigs.

About 2 million pigs are sold countrywide each year, Kao Phal, director of the Department of Animal Health and Production, said at an industry meeting this month. It remains unclear how many of these make it to Phnom Penh.

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