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

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and