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Kingdom to milk new industry

Kingdom to milk new industry

CONSTRUCTION on the Kingdom’s first dedicated dairy cow farm and fresh milk production facility is set to begin this month, according to officials behind the joint venture.

“This is the first time in history that our country will produce fresh cows’ milk,” said Srey Chanthou, managing director of 7NG Group.

“We hope it will be successful, and that we can expand our business further.”

The US$2.5 million project will raise Holstein cows imported from New Zealand and Australia, and aims to produce 1.2 million litres in the first year of production.

7NG Group has partnered with Sweden’s HPT Dairy Company for the venture, though officials declined to reveal what percentage each firm owns in the joint venture.

Srey Chanthou said there were a number of points in favour of producing milk in the Kingdom.

No one in our country is producing fresh milk ... we have a real investment partner with full experience

“I see that no one in our country is producing fresh milk,” he said.

“Secondly, the demand is increasing every day.

“Third, we have a real investment partner with full experience and the technology to produce cow milk.That’s why we decided to invest.”

The plant will lie on 100 hectares in Kampong Speu province’s Phnom Sruoch district, next to the Kirirom National Resort. It is scheduled to open in November 2011, he said.

In 2012 – its first full year of production – the company aims to feed 200 head of cattle, producing 1.2 million litres of milk. By 2013, it would like to have 500 to 700 cattle producing three million litres of milk.

Grass, planted by the group, will form part of the diet of the herd. The venture will initially focus on supplying the Cambodian market, but could turn its attention to exports as capacity allows, said Srey Chanthou.

No price for the fresh milk has yet been set, but it will rely on the open market for its pricing, with the aim of competing with imports. The official contract establishing the joint venture was signed in a ceremony at the Sunway Hotel last week.

Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy general director Meng Saktheara said the ministry welcomed the project.

“I think it will be very good for our country,” he said. “It is possible to raise milk cattle here, as we have lots of good areas for this.”

He also said that the involvement of the Swedish firm would help introduced the latest technology to Cambodia.

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