Loran aims to become number-one exporter
Cambodia's biggest rice mill in terms of capacity is located in Battambang and is owned by the Loran Import and Export Company, headed by Dr Lim Bunseng.
At Loran’s Battambang mill, there are two production lines working 16 hours a day with a capacity to mill 30 tonnes an hour.
Lim has plans to begin construct-ion on a new mill, with a silo, drying machine and packing equipment, once the rain stops.
Lim hopes to have the new mill, also located in Battambang, with a capacity of 25 tonne an hour, in operation within18 months.
Another planned mill will be located in Kampong Speu province, with a capacity of 10 tonnes an hour.
Construction on that mill will begin at the end of the rainy season, and the target date for completion is within the next 18 to 20 months.
Much of Loran’s output is transported by trucks in 20-foot containers to Phnom Penh and thence to Hong Kong and the US through the existing Phnom Penh river port.
Exports to Europe, Africa and South America go through the port at Sihanoukville, with trans-shipment points in Malaysia or Singapore, Lim says.
“We are among the top five rice exporters in Cambodia,” says Lim, who studied agriculture in Phnom Penh and London.
“The government should encourage people to invest in rice mills to cut down the export of paddy to Vietnam and Thailand and to provide more work for local people.”
Lim also says the Cambodian government should help farmers focus on fewer seed varieties in order to have a consistent product for global buyers. “The government should minimise the number of seed var-
ieties, for example jasmine rice, because in Cambodia there are many types of fragrant rice, but our buyers know only jasmine rice.
“If we produce other varieties, it makes it more difficult to export.”
Another reason for seed consist-ency is higher purity, which is already 85 per cent in Cambodia, according to Lim.
“Push the rice standard in Cam-bodia. We still don’t have our own national rice standards.
“We need to push the other sectors to have rice specifications. We have to follow buyers’ standards. We need to develop our own rice standard.’’
Lim has also urged the Cambodian government to invest in a laboratory at the rice institute where millers can send samples to do lab tests.
“If we have our own lab, we can save time and money,” he says.
“The government’s rice institute needs to focus on what type of rice the international market needs, then we need to focus on that.
“ We should not be focusing on varieties for which there is no international demand.’’
Lim also called on the government to fund the upgrading of machinery at local rice mills to increase their capacity and export volume.
“It would be nice, if the government had any funds, to support our local rice mills to increase their export volume and their capacity, and also to upgrade their rice machinery,” he says.
Lim’s 2012 target for Loran is to become Cambodia’s number-one rice exporter.
“We have the best quality of any rice mill in Cambodia,’’ he says.
“Our commitment will be to become the world’s top rice exporter. In 2012, because of our new processing line, our commitment will be to become the number one.
“In the future, Cambodia will be known around the world as a top rice exporter.’’