Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia welcomes sisal into crop portfolio

Cambodia welcomes sisal into crop portfolio

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Minister Veng Sakhon visited the company’s plantation on Saturday. Supplied

Cambodia welcomes sisal into crop portfolio

Cambodia will soon start cultivating sisal, an agave plant native to southern Mexico which produces a strong fibre, after China Great Cause (Cambodia) Investment Co Ltd received an economic land concession in Preah Vihear province to build a processing plant.

The company imported the sisal – also known by the botanical name Agave sisalana – and will start growing it on 180ha of its 1,200ha plantation in the province’s Rovieng district.

Sisal-made products could be available in the Kingdom by the end of this year, said the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

After visiting the company’s plantation on Saturday, minister Veng Sakhon told The Post that sisal production will benefit the country’s economy by generating jobs and increasing exports.

Sakhon said the crop can be grown in any soil condition, requires little water, and is resistant to hot climates.

“I am optimistic about the crops, and I hope that Cambodians, particularly in the area [Preah Vihear], will grow this crop in cooperation with the company. This is an excellent opportunity for Cambodia to increase its cultivation,” he said.

Sisal-derived raw materials are used to manufacture water-resistant and durable silk fibres. The fibres can be processed into ropes used on boats, sacks and silk fabric, Sakhon said.

The general manager and CEO of China Great Cause (Cambodia) Investment Co Ltd, who declined to be named, said the company is currently developing a total of 5,871ha in economic land concessions as it seeks to cultivate enough sisal before opening the processing plant.

Two-year-old sisal can be harvested three times per year and yield 25-30 tonnes per hectare, he said. Three tonnes of silk fibres can be produced from 30 tonnes of sisal and cost between $1,500 and $2,000 at the current rate.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng said he welcomed the expansion of sisal growing in Cambodia because the plant could be exported in the future.

He said since sisal can grow on a variety of landscapes, farmers will be able to take advantage of less fertile areas.

Brazil is the leading sisal producer, accounting for 32 per cent of the world’s total production. The next largest producers are China (29.1 per cent), Tanzania (17.8 per cent), Kenya (10.4 per cent) and Madagascar (2.9 per cent), data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation shows.

MOST VIEWED

  • No payment required for travellers taking rapid Covid tests on arrival

    Ministry of Health officials said there would be no payment required for the rapid Covid-19 tests given to travellers who arrive in Cambodia from November 15 onwards after the quarantine requirement is lifted for fully vaccinated people. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told The Post on

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Police arrest Canadian with 167kg of drugs

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on November 15 placed a Canadian national in pre-trial detention in connection with smuggling and possessing 167kg of illegal drugs. Deputy National Police chief in charge of anti-drug enforcement Mak Chito told The Post on November 15 that the man was arrested