The Chinese investment company and mango exporter Cam MJ Agricultural Park Co Ltd is installing a packaging machine and industrial steaming equipment for pest control at its newest facility in Kampong Speu province.

This comes following the Chinese government’s June 9 official approval of the export of 500,000 tonnes of Cambodian fresh mangoes per year to the country.

China’s total demand for mangoes stands at about eight million tonnes per year, said the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Its General Directorate of Agriculture director-general Ngin Chhay has said the South Korean-owned Hyundai Mao Legacy Co Ltd factory is the only plant in Cambodia which can effectively prepare mangoes for export to China’s standards.

The factory is based in Treng Trayoeng commune’s Peam Tung village in Kampong Speu’s Phnom Sruoch district. It uses steam treatments to sterilise crops and exterminate pests and can produce about 15 tonnes of export-ready mangoes per day.

This is not enough to meet the demand for exports.

Cam MJ Agricultural Park chief of administration Chhun Daro told The Post on Monday that his company has finished building the infrastructure to install the two pieces of equipment.

“We’ve ordered the steam cleaner [and packaging machine] from abroad and the facility is ready for the machine to be set up,” he said.

Daro said his company currently operates two factories in the Kingdom – a 100ha mango processing plant located in Kampong Speu’s Kong Pisey district, and the 24ha plant in Phnom Sruoch district awaiting the equipment.

Both were launched last year.

Daro said: “We plan to launch the mango pest-exterminating and packaging machines by the end of the year.

“We are overjoyed at the news of China allowing us to export fresh mangoes to its market. This will further boost our company’s production.”

Last week, Chhay visited to inspect the Phnom Sruoch facility as the company was preparing its infrastructure.

He remarked that the plant will be able to produce about 50 tonnes of export-ready mangoes per day, calling on Cam MJ Agricultural Park to complete the job as soon as possible.

He asked the company to work closely with the ministry’s Department of Plant Protection, Sanitary and Phytosanitary to ensure that the facility meets China’s sanitary and phytosanitary standards.

Chhay said: “We will invite Chinese phytosanitary officials to directly inspect the company’s infrastructure and determine if it follows Chinese standards.

“We also ask that the company seek contracts with plantation owners and buy mangoes from them.”

He told a press conference last week that industrial steam cleaners cost at least $500,000 per unit.

The Kingdom exported 44,099 tonnes of fresh mangoes during the first five months of this year, an increase of around 14,885 tonnes or 50.96 per cent compared to the same period last year, ministry data show.

Last year, it exported 58,162 tonnes of fresh mangoes to six markets – Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, France, Russia and Hong Kong.

A total of 39,398ha were harvested last year, out of the 125,319ha available for the cultivation of mangoes in the Kingdom. Normally, 1ha of land can produce about 30 tonnes of mango per year.