Cambodia earned about $66.13 million from the export of live adult animals and products of animal origin in 2021, a 40.1 per cent surge from $47.18 million a year earlier, the General Directorate of Animal Health and Production reported.
Live adult cattle, pigs and monkeys respectively amounted to nearly $4 million (down more than 50 per cent year-on-year), $470,000 (up 260 per cent) and over $20 million (down more than two per cent).
Dried and wet cattle hides were to the tune of more than $3 million (up 100 per cent year-on-year) and nearly $40,000 (down over 93 per cent), said the directorate, a unit under the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Dried pig skins, milk, dog food and duck feathers stood at more than $300,000 (up 100 per cent year-on-year), nearly $500,000 (up 100 per cent), over $37 million (up over 100 per cent) and in excess of $180,000 (up over 336 per cent)
Directorate chief Tan Phannara reasoned that the overall jump in animal exports clearly indicates that Cambodia managed to ensure adequate domestic supply of meat, despite Covid turbulence.
He told The Post on January 5 that Cambodia is now able to meet 100 per cent of the domestic demand for pork – up from around 87 per cent prior to the Covid-19 crisis – and has not imported live pigs from Thailand in the last two months.
“With Cambodia able to supply sufficient pork for domestic consumption, we’ve suspended imports for more than two months, because importing more while having enough would saturate the market, creating heavy competition, and affecting local husbandry,” Phannara said.
However, the African swine fever (ASF) remains a concern for domestic pig farmers, although the agriculture ministry has successfully been able to control the viral disease, he said.
He explained that there currently is no approved vaccine or treatment for ASF, and that the disease remains widespread in neighbouring countries.
The directorate claims that the Kingdom has ASF nearly 100 per cent under control, and says it collaborates with local farmers’ associations and large-scale farms to spray disinfectants regularly and maintain biosecurity standards.
Cambodia Livestock Raisers Association (CLRA) director Srun Pov noted that a surplus of pork, beef and chicken has emerged, leading to lower prices for live pigs and chickens, although rates for cattle have risen slightly.
He said the CLRA has held many meetings calling for breeders to join, so that the association can provide more valuable market information and clearer guidelines on how to raise livestock, to avoid the most common perils of today.
Commenting on the staggering more-than-50 per cent drop in live adult cattle exports last year, Pov said Cambodians are consuming more beef and less pork and chicken, and thus driving demand and prices higher.
But a grimmer reason behind this dip in exports was an outbreak of lumpy skin disease, which led to significant economic losses, he added.
The gross value of output from the Cambodian animal husbandry sector reached $5.100 billion in 2021, up by six per cent from $4.813 billion a year earlier, the directorate said in a preliminary report.