Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Amret client success stories: Kampong Cham planter turns cassava trade into a lucrative business

Amret client success stories: Kampong Cham planter turns cassava trade into a lucrative business

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Amret client success stories: Kampong Cham planter turns cassava trade into a lucrative business

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Kampong Cham native SiemEng Meng is proving women can thrive in the agriculture business. As a young woman with little experience, she ventured into cassava farming and, along with her husband, turned it into a successful business – becoming an important cassava planter and trader in Krouch Chhmar district. She shares her success story.

Could you describe your business briefly?

At a young age I didn’t have much knowledge about agriculture. But after marrying my husband in 2000, I was ready to take a risk in operating my own farm with my husband's support.

With a small capital plus an agriculture loan from Amret, I ventured into cassava planting on five hectares of land. While cultivating the crop, I figured out a way to expand my business by buying cassava from neighbouring farmers. This is to increase my stock levels.

I purchase at a price that allows me to gain some profit by selling to traders in Vietnam. Normally, I sell fresh cassava at an average price of 400 riel [$0.1] per kilogram. During the harvest season, I can easily export 10 to 15 trucks of cassava daily, with about 20 tonnes per truck.

What is your role as a trader and how do you identify your market?

As a trader, I buy large quantities of cassava from other farmers and add this to my own crop. When we have sufficient quantities, my husband exports directly to local and international markets.

It is market practice to export fresh cassava, and that is our daily priority. Finding a market is not a major concern, for as long there is good demand for cassava and since our province is located close to the Vietnam border, it is easy for us to access markets.

What are your business challenges and how did you deal with them?

Diseases and insects are every farmer's concern, but that doesn’t mean we cannot deal with them. In order to solve the problem, every farmer should understand the planting process to tackle the menace in a timely manner. Pesticides are a solution, but they should be used in moderation without damaging the crop and the soil.

Do you consider yourself a successful cassava trader?

At this point, I cannot say I am a hugely successful trader. I still need to gain more knowledge and experience in this agriculture trade.

But if you ask whether I am satisfied with my current business achievements, I can say that I am happier than ever before, and even able to contribute to society in some way. In addition to providing higher education for my children, I am able to offer part-time jobs for the people in my district.

What is your future goal?

I don't set many long-term goals, but my plan now is to expand the cultivation area so that I can become the top cassava trader in my province and export the crop to more countries.

What’s your advice to those entering the business world?

Firstly, they must have specific goals. And as each business has its ups and downs, they need to be aware of the risks involved and be prepared to deal with difficulties along the way. They should also have a large enough budget to meet any unexpected financial needs to operate their business.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • Cambodia's poverty cut in half from 2009 to 2019: World Bank report

    A report published by the World Bank on November 28 states that Cambodia’s national poverty rate fell by almost half between 2009 and 2019, but the Covid-19 pandemic recently reversed some of the poverty reduction progress. Cambodia’s poverty rate dropped from 33.8 to 17.8 per cent over the 10