Investment in sanitation to boost pig-breeding industry
CPP senator and business tycoon Mong Reththy speaks to reporters at the Swine Business Forum in Phnom Penh last Wednesday.
ALOCAL company is set to invest US$4 million in a new slaughterhouse and facilities to control the quality of imported pigs, in a bid to boost quality in the Kingdom's nascent pig-breeding industry.
"This is an initiative which aims to revolutionise and bring, for the first time, international sanitary standards to Cambodia," Mong Reththy, a Cambodian People's Party senator and co-chair of the government's Agricultural and Agro-Industry Working Group, told the Post on Tuesday.
Last month, his company Mong Reththy Group announced plans to spend $5 million importing pigs from a breeder in Yorkshire, England, in a move that aims to tap soaring pork demand in Cambodia.
The first phase of the project - quality control facilities to assess imported pigs - is now complete, Mong Reththy said. The facilities, located on five hectares of land in Phnom Penh's Dangkor district, cost $1 million to construct. They are now operational and have the capacity to process up to 10,000 pigs per day.
The second phase - a $3 million state-of-the-art abattoir - will be funded by contributions from the owners of existing abattoirs in the capital, he said. Construction is expected to begin next year and all equipment will be imported from Germany.
"When the project materialises, pork eaters will have safer pork, [giving them] better health," said Mong Reththy. "It will be easier to control the sale of imported pigs."
In a bid to boost take-up of the new facilities services in the first year of operation, pig importers will be charged just 50 cents per pig to have them inspected and - if they are healthy - certified as such. Next year, the inspection fee will be raised to $2.
"If we do not build these facilities, both imported pigs and those who slaughter them will be in a difficult situation in terms of sanitary control," he said. "I hope that we can do well on this project."
When the project materialises ... it will be easier to control the sale of imported pig
Piggie went to market
Currently, there are six companies importing some 1,600 pigs a day from Thailand and distributing them throughout Cambodia. Phnom Penh currently has ten slaughter houses, Mong Reththy said.
The Kingdom consumes an estimated 7000 pigs a day - including 1600 in Phnom Penh, said Kao Phal, director of the Department of Production and Veterinary Science in the Ministry of Agriculture.
Suon Sotheoun, deputy director of the Department of Production and Veterinary Science of the Ministry of Agriculture, welcomed the project on Tuesday, saying it would be a boost to public health.
"It is a step towards taking care of our people's health, and we will arrange for five officials from our department to join the pig quality control at the checkpoint," said Suon Sotheoun.
The director of Phnom Penh's municipal health department, Veng Thai, said Tuesday that he welcomed the plan.
"It will be good to ensure that pork is free of diseases, and it will guarantee that people eat good quality pork," he said.
He added that having just one slaughter house in one location will make it easier for authorities and government officials to inspect the facilities regularly.
"Currently there are a few licensed slaughter houses, but lots of unlicensed ones, so it is hard to control them. When all the [licenced] slaughtering is done in one place, it will be easier to identify unlicensed abattoirs," he said.