THE Chup Rubber Plantation will be handed over to a private company next month, according to the plantation's director general, Mak Kimhong, becoming the last of Cambodia's rubber farms to leave government hands under a plan to boost private investment.
The 13,000-hectare plantation will pass from government control after bidding has been finalised, Mak Kimhong said, adding that at least five local and international companies have submitted bids.
"I think the government has made this decision [to divest] because a private company would be better able to manage the rubber operations," he said.
Chup has exported some 8,000 tonnes of rubber annually in the past several years but hopes to up that to 15,000 tonnes by 2013, he said.
Mak Kimhong said only about 5,000 hectares of the plantation is currently available for resin collection.
Ly Phalla, director general of the Rubber Department at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said the government began privatising its plantation holdings in late 2007.
Arjun Goswami, country director for the Asia Development Bank, told the Post last week that divestment of state-owned enterprises could be vital in bolstering private sector enterprises.
"Private control will always be more effective than state control," he said.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY KAY KIMSONG