A JAPANESE company has invested US$2 million in a farming project in Kampong Cham province to grow high-quality vegetables for Cambodia's hotel industry, which is forced to import much of its produce from abroad.
Kobe Busan Co Ltd will grow a variety of produce, including ginger, cabbage and pumpkin, on 2,000 hectares of land, said Yin Buntith, who heads up a provincial investment committee. He added that the project would provide about 250 new jobs.
"We hope the company will help upgrade the quality of Cambodian produce for world markets," Yin Buntith said.
Kobe officials could not be reached for comment. Despite its broad agriculture sector, Cambodia imports a significant percentage of vegetables from Vietnam and Thailand, according to Yang Saing Koma, president of the agricultural NGO CEDAC.
"Investing in vegetables is good because it will help increase local production and reduce our reliance on imported vegetables," he told the Post.
A booming tourism sector has significantly increased demand for produce, particularly at high-end hotels.
Cambodian Hotel Association President Luu Meng said about 30 percent of produce used in hotels is imported, and that figure would drop if Cambodian farmers offered better quality goods. "We will reduce the amount of vegetables we buy from other countries if local producers can secure a high quality vegetable supply," Luu Meng said.