Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Swine imports spell the end of good fortune for farmers

Swine imports spell the end of good fortune for farmers

A pig farmer monitors her livestock on a farm in Svay Rieng province’s Chantrea district
A pig farmer monitors her livestock on a farm in Svay Rieng province’s Chantrea district. RANN REUY

Swine imports spell the end of good fortune for farmers

Three years ago, the high prices for pig livestock inspired Chhoeurng Sarun and many other villagers in Svay Rieng province, near the Vietnam border, to go into small-scale farming.

She spent $500 on building pens to house 20 pigs. But the easy money didn’t last long. Imports coming over from the Vietnamese and Thai borders flooded the market, and prices fell.

“When I started to raise pigs, they cost 11,000 riel [$2.75] per kilogram”, she said adding that the rate had fallen as low to 6,000 riel a kilogram today. The difference wasn’t insignificant, and forced Sarun to abandon the scheme.

“I regret quitting, but I can’t make profit at all,” she said. “If there were not as many imports, Cambodian swine prices would not have dropped this dramatically.”

Srun Pov, the president of the Cambodian Pig Raising Association in Kandal province, estimated that at least 70 per cent of household pig farmers have called it quits.

In theory, the farmers shouldn’t face problems. Responding to complaints in 2009 about oversupply, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery (MAFF), set the maximum allowable number of daily imports at 800. But Pov and farmers say the quota is rarely enforced.

“If we go to see imports of pigs at Neak Loeung ferry, we are almost knocked unconscious,” said Ly Lavil, manager of a pig farmhouse at Mong Rithy Group, a local company.

Kao Phal, director of the Animal Health and Production Department at the ministry, did not return several calls for comment.

Srey Sothea, 28, who lives in the province’s Santrea district, said that her family has one or two pigs for breeding, and she sells off the piglets.

“Even though the price goes down, but we have pig mother for producing them by ourselves,” she said. “But it is very small profit,” she said.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all