As part of the government’s effort to secure private investments for food production, the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) earlier this week approved a $31.7 million investment project by Kang Hwa E&C (Cambodia) Co Ltd to build a commercial animal farm in Kampong Cham province.
The CDC permitted Kang Hwa E&C to build the farm, a processing plant and a 4.5 MW solar power plant to be used there.
According to the provincial administration, there is currently one cattle farm, 15 pig farms, 17 chicken farms and 15 duck farms in Kampong Cham.
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon told The Post on Tuesday that investments in animal husbandry in Cambodia have steadily increased this year, with most funds being directed towards large-scale farms capable of exporting goods in the future.
Sakhon said the spread of Covid-19 has made investors more aware of the necessity of food.
“Animal husbandry in Cambodia is evolving into a commercialised industry, especially cattle and pig raising. The amount of investment in animal husbandry is higher than last year,” he said.
The current increase in animal husbandry, he added, is also a response to the government’s policy to promote agricultural development.
Hong Vanak, an economics researcher at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said investing in agriculture could be a big step forward for the Kingdom. In the past, the country regularly imported some meat products from neighbouring countries to meet domestic demand.
“I think this is a good sign that not only will Cambodia be independent in supplying domestic demand and be capable of exporting, it will also help create jobs for Cambodians,” he said.
He added that through government policies and favourable natural conditions, the agriculture sector in Cambodia will be stronger in the future.
Last Tuesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen said while visiting farmers in Takeo province’s Prey Kabas district that Cambodia must strive to strengthen its agriculture sector to export to the international market.
He said the expansion of the agriculture sector is not only about rice exports, but also other products such as cassava, mangoes, bananas and animal husbandry products.
“Cambodia must increase its capacity to produce what its people need and what the region and the world needs,” he said.
He added the spread of Covid-19 shows that food demand is urgent, with some items being delayed or suspended.
“They can suspend travel, they can suspend buying clothes, they can suspend buying motorbikes and cars, but they cannot suspend buying things the stomach needs. So the countries that produce food are the ones that must be valued. The opportunity has come, we must turn this crisis into an opportunity for Cambodia,” he said.
On Monday, the CDC approved two other investment projects as well. The first is a cardboard factory owned by He Cheng Xing Packaging (Cambodia) Co Ltd in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district. The factory has a capital investment of about $2.3 million and will create 180 jobs.
The second project is a leather processing factory owned by Corium Leather (Cambodia) Co Ltd located in Takeo province’s Samrong district. The factory received a capital investment of $2.5 million and will hire 291 employees.