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Thais to set up maize plant

THAI agribusiness giant Charoen Pokphand (CP) Foods is setting up a new silo and drying plant for maize in Pailin province.

The exact investment cost is not known. According to a newspaper report in The Nation, the plant, together with a planned feed-meal plant in Laos, will cost 250 million baht (US$8.38 million) in total, said Sakol Cheewakoset, president of CP Cambodia and CP Laos, subsidiaries of CP Foods which are managing the investments.

The plant in Cambodia “is to ensure high-quality raw material to serve [the company’s] feed production for both the domestic market and export”, with an initial monthly capacity of 10,000 tonnes, the report said.

Pailin province was the chosen location because it is in western Cambodia, a key area for agricultural production, which would boost the company’s distribution, said Sakol. He did not specify when operations would begin.

An industry leader said that Pailin was a prime location for the plant.

More than 50 per cent of the country’s maize farms are located in the north-western region, said Yang Saing Koma, president of the Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture.

“It is important to be close to the farms, so that the maize can be transported to the plant in time to avoid harvest loss,” he said.

“If the maize is not dry and stored for a long time, it will be destroyed.”

Cambodia now imports “a lot of animal feed” from countries like Thailand and Vietnam. If the plant was to produce feed, farmers here would also benefit from having import costs eliminated, he added.

CP Foods did not reply to queries by press time yesterday.

According to the report, CP Cambodia’s revenue has been growing by about 20 per cent each year, but it hopes to hit 30 per cent growth this year. The company is also contemplating investing in an aquatic business in Cambodia soon, said Sakol.

“Our five-year business plan aims to double our total sales every year,” he added.

Meanwhile, CP Foods’ revenue in 2012 was 357.175 billion baht, a 73 per cent increase from the previous year, according to its website.



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