CAMBODIAN farmers are the next target in the expansion plans of Vietnam’s largest fertiliser company, which intends to open its first country office in the Kingdom on Friday, an official from Fertilizer PetroVietnam and Chemicals Corporation (PVFCCo) has said.
PVFCCo, a Petrovietnam subsidiary, is seeking to tap into what it believes is a potentially lucrative agricultural sector in Cambodia, its deputy general director Nguyen Hong Vinh told the Post on the sidelines of a press conference at Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld Hotel and Casino on Wednesday.
“This is the first time we have opened an office in the Kingdom because, according to our research, Cambodia has very good potential. In agriculture, there’s a good environment, and the atmosphere and soil are the same as Vietnam,” he said.
He said the company plans to test demand this year for its chemical fertiliser by importing only a small amount, but that it hopes to import up to 50,000 tonnes per annum for the following two years, depending on demand.
Nguyen Hong Vinh said the company plans to set a competitive price for its products, one that is cheaper than fertiliser imported from China, Thailand and other countries, though he declined to give an exact price.
Yang Saing Koma, president of the Cambodian Centre for Study and Development in Agriculture, said that although he welcomes PVFCCo’s investment in Cambodia, the use of chemical fertiliser should not be encouraged.
“We believe chemical fertiliser can be used in some areas where natural versions such as compost are not feasible, but it is not good for use in all areas,” he said.
Although chemical fertiliser can greatly improve yields, some people believe it can be harmful to consumers and farmers alike.
An estimated 20 companies are now importing chemical fertiliser for sale in Cambodia. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries stated early last month that Cambodia imported more than 170,000 tonnes last year.
A US$65 million chemical fertiliser factory is planned for Kandal province’s Kien Svay district.