Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Agriculture Ministry calls out abattoir monopoly

Agriculture Ministry calls out abattoir monopoly

Vendors sell pork in Phnom Penh’s Kandal Market in 2013.
Vendors sell pork in Phnom Penh’s Kandal Market in 2013. Hong Menea

Agriculture Ministry calls out abattoir monopoly

The Ministry of Agriculture published a circular on Thursday accusing the slaughterhouse industry of running a “conspiracy” and “cartel” to fix prices and monopolise the market amid a “lack of enforcement” from local authorities.

The document, signed by Agriculture Minister Veng Sokhon and dated February 15, instructs ministry officials to take a number of measures to ensure fair competition in the slaughterhouse marketplace, including breaking up monopolies and facilitating small-scale farmers in slaughtering their own stock.

Sen Sovann, director-general of the Agriculture Ministry’s Department of Animal Health and Production, said yesterday that the ministry had found the cartel to be an obstacle for free and fair competition, as well as a cause of higher meat prices.

“We have observed that since activating the circular, the price of animals has fallen,” he said. “We encourage having a slaughterhouse on the community level . . . this is a positive result to make meat prices more competitive, higher quality, and save costs for the consumer.”

One of the claims in the circular was that slaughterhouses were blocking new businesses from entering the market, and encouraged local authorities and provincial-level Agriculture Ministry officials to expedite licences for small-scale businesses.

When asked how businesses could have blocked small-scale farmers from getting licences without help from ministry officials, Sovann did not directly address the question.

“We don’t want to blame anyone,” he said. “I acknowledge that the crisis in the past is caused by not having complete competition.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Time to avert disastrous Covid situation: officials

    The Covid-19 situation in Cambodia is heading towards further large-scale community transmission as the total number of confirmed cases is nearing 61,000 and the death toll passed 900 on July 10, senior health officials warned. Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine expressed concern that the country was going

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Baby saved as mother is lost to Covid

    Newborn baby Neth David has had a rough start in the world. His mother, Vong Daneth, was seven months pregnant when she contracted a severe case of Covid-19. When it became clear to her doctors that she would not survive, they performed a cesarean section

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • Hun Sen: Get 12-17 age group ready for Covid jabs

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has told parents of children aged 12-17 in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal and Preah Sihanouk to get them ready for vaccinations soon. “There is a need to vaccinate children and youths aged 12 to 17. According to the statistics provided