Hong Kong-based Green Leader Holdings Group Co Ltd, which announced its first cassava processing factory earlier this year, aims to commence operations by next year, according to Green Leader (Cambodia) Co Ltd CEO Gao Hua.
The company is set to invest a total of $150 million in the cassava industry, which its first broke ground in April in Kratie province. Construction has been delayed, with the factory originally planned to be launched by the end of the year.
“The factory is nearly 70 per cent completed, as it was delayed due to rainy season and some technicalities in construction. The installation facility has already been prepared and we are awaiting shipments from China,” Gao said, adding that the factory is to commence operations by February next year.
The Kratie province factory is located on 20ha of land in Snuol district, making it the largest such facility in Cambodia. It will be able to process some 600,000 tonnes of fresh cassava roots per year, with an annual production capacity of 150,000 tonnes of modified starch.
Gao said a team comprised of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), Ministry of Commerce (MoC), and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) officials has identified approximately 10 nearby farming cooperatives to supply 30 per cent of the factory’s annual requirement, and estimates they will identify close to another 40 per cent by next year.
“The contract farming has been carried out well, though the speed of completion is slow. But [the team] is steadily taking into consideration the vast number of farmers involved as well as the location coverage."
“The confidence in completion is high due to the fact that the MAFF, MoC and UNDP are initiated, committed and involved in the project,” he said, adding that Green Leader has developed a clear vision and commitment to focus on a new export market to destinations such as China, Japan and the EU.
MAFF spokesman Srey Vuthy expressed his confidence that the factory will ensure a stable cassava market for farmers.
“It will provide a stable market for cassava farmers and ensure steady cassava prices thanks to contract farming,” he said, adding that the farmers are “no longer concerned with the market” as Green Leader will provide farmers with consistent work through contract farming.
According to the ministry’s figures, last year cassava cultivation in the Kingdom reached 614,000ha of land, yielding 13,817,000 tonnes.