International animal feed joint venture De Heus TMH Cambodia has launched a $15 million factory in Kampong Speu province that is able to produce 180,000 tonnes of animal feed annually, the agriculture ministry reported on April 24.

The factory was officially inaugurated on April 24 in a ceremony presided over by Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon and a delegation that included representatives from animal feed companies and producers, animal husbandry communities and distributors from Vietnam, India and Myanmar, the ministry said in a statement.

Sakhon said at the launch of the animal feed factory that its establishment was in line with Prime Minister Hun Sen’s vision of improving Cambodia’s investment climate and providing favourable conditions for the private sector. He said the ministry views the corralling of private sector support and encouragement as an “urgent obligation”.

He said government and private sector cooperation to jointly enhance the Kingdom’s livestock production sector will ensure abundant local market supply even in the Covid-19 era and, importantly, allow the country to move towards sustainable development.

“The success that the company has achieved in the last 10 years … in Cambodia has certainly contributed to promoting and boosting domestic feed production, reducing imports and creating jobs,” he said in the statement.

The minister offered several suggestions and reminders to the company and the industry at large to boost efficiency and productivity.

He recommended additional study and research on the production of feed for “chdo” fish – giant snakehead or Channa micropeltes – instead of using raw produce such as local young fish caught from natural sources.

Sakhon also said that companies should set up livestock farms or sign contracts with producers to promote high-productivity breeds and techniques, as well as conduct feed quality experiments.

He said that this would “inspire and encourage” the use of local raw materials via contract production, with purchase from Cambodian farmers leading to the reduction of imports.

The agriculture minister said the company must strive to expand the production capacity of all types of animal feed, and, in so doing, “absorb” more human resources, knowledge, experience and raw materials for the benefit of the country’s animal feed sector.

De Heus TMH Cambodia is an international joint venture between Dutch and Cambodian animal feed industry players “De-Heus Cambodia BV” and TMH (Cambodia) Co Ltd, according to the statement.

CEO Chan Kimrithy said in the statement that the main aim of the company is to establish a feed mill in Cambodia that meets modern standards, hygiene practices and complies with ISO 22000.

He said he hopes that the company will be the go-to supplier for the animal production sub-sector in Cambodia “both at present and down the line”.

The Kampong Speu factory spans 7,154sqm and has the capacity to produce 15,000 tonnes of animal feed a month or 180,000 tonnes per year, with production techniques from the EU. Twenty per cent of the energy used in the factory comes from solar sources, according to the statement.

Local raw materials used by the company include cassava, red corn, bran and broken rice, coconut residue, fermentation by-products and animal bone meal, it said.

Kimrithy said the company plans to set up a factory in Battambang, noting that the province produces important raw materials.

Cambodia Livestock Raisers Association president Srun Pov told The Post that greater numbers of feed mills in the country will be a boon for local farmers due to price competitiveness, which will boost growth in the livestock sector.

“Currently, imported animal feed prices are rising by about 20 per cent, so if there are more local factories, farmers will be able to buy at a reasonable price. More factories can absorb agricultural products that are raw materials … to help create markets for farmers,” he said.

However, he noted that domestic feed was still more expensive than that imported from neighbouring countries due to the high cost of water and electricity, and that at the moment, most farmers still use imported feed.