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Facility for rice opens in Battambang

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Rice storage was on sale in a small stall at Phnom Penh's market. Heng Chivoan

Facility for rice opens in Battambang

Cambodia's first $15 million rice storage and drying facility made its official debut on Tuesday, while three other facilities are set to open later this week, according to insiders.

The Battambang province–based rice storage facility, which is operated by Thanakea Srov (Kampuchea) Plc, received a $15 million loan from the state-owned Rural Development Bank (RDB) in early 2016.

The warehouse is set to be the first privately owned centralised storage facility with a capacity to store 200,000 tonnes of wet paddy and process the drying of 3,000 tonnes of it a day.

Phou Puy, chairman of Thanakea Srov, said that with the presence of the warehouse, good prices for farmers’ rice can be assured.

“From now on, we have enough capacity to collect paddy from farmers and ensure the quality of milled rice for buyers. Our farmers are no longer worried about market and price,” he said.

RDB also provided loans of $15 million to two other rice-milling companies, Khmer Food and Amru Rice, for the construction of rice warehouses in Kampong Thom, Prey Veng and Takeo provinces.

Each facility will have the capacity to store 50,000 tonnes of wet paddy and dry 1,500 tonnes of rice daily.

The rice storage and drying facilities will help boost the country’s exports as well as maintain the local price of paddy, according to Song Saran, CEO of rice exporter Amru Rice.

Amru Rice, which received a loan of $5 million from RDB late last year to build a rice storage facility on 25,000 square metres in Kampong Thom province, will launch the facility today.

Two other storage facilities in Prey Veng and Takeo provinces owned by rice miller Khmer Food are to open on Friday.

“I am confident we will be able to reduce the flow of paddy to neighbouring countries in the coming season. Our new rice facility will ensure that quality and standards are maintained."

“We will also be able to supply rice for buyers on a longer term basis than before and boost rice exports this year,” Song Saran said.

The Ministry of Agriculture in May launched a $2.8 million, South Korea-backed rice storage facility in Kampong Cham province.

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