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Kingdom’s exports of corn decline as local demand rises

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Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon said corn exports reached 35,636 tonnes during the first five months of the year, down 29.68 per cent from the same period last year when 50,679 tonnes were exported. Heng Chivoan

Kingdom’s exports of corn decline as local demand rises

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has announced that exports of corn used for livestock feed have declined sharply over the last few years, while production and domestic demand have risen.

Minister Veng Sakhon said corn exports reached 35,636 tonnes during the first five months of the year, down 29.68 per cent from the same period last year when 50,679 tonnes were exported.

In 2019, corn exports reached 119,993 tonnes and in 2018, 204,184 tonnes were exported.

He said despite the decline in international demand, the production of Cambodian corn has steadily increased over the last four years.

Farmers’ corn production surpassed 1.11 million tonnes in 2019, up from 333,058 tonnes in 2016.

Sakhon said: “The above results symbolise national pride and favour for the people and the government. Corn exports have decreased during this period, but the extra product has been transported to local livestock feed processing plants.

“This result is in line with the government’s policy to promote agricultural production and increase the number of domestic livestock. It is also a result of Cambodia’s decision to increase corn import taxes, which foreign countries must pay for locally produced corn.”

Ministry data showed that Tbong Khmum province is one of the largest producers of corn grown for livestock feed. It can produce 56,750 tonnes per year on a total 10,790ha of cultivated land.

The data shows that the province’s dry harvest season for corn is between February and April while the rainy harvest season falls between July and September. The province has seven silos for drying corn, and each one can dry between 1,500 tonnes and 3,000 tonnes per year.

The director-general of the ministry’s Department of Animal Health and Production Tan Pannara, told The Post on Monday that there are 18 livestock feed production factories operating in Cambodia and another one is being built.

The factories are capable of producing more than 1.2 million tonnes of livestock feed per year, equal to 56 per cent of the country’s current supply.

Domestic farmers have started raising more livestock as well.

Piglet imports during the first five months of this year have increased four-fold compared to last year. This year, 88,000 piglets were imported over the timeframe while last year, 22,000 piglets were imported.

Meanwhile, imports of breeding sows during the period reached 14,169 while last year 7,850 were imported.

“After the ministry implemented the government’s recommendations regarding the reduction of pig imports, farmers had the confidence to raise more livestock. This will also lead to an increased demand for livestock feed,” Pannara said.

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