THE Cambodian arm of South Korea’s agricultural investment company Korea Overseas Grain Investment and Development Co Ltd was planning to buy about 40,000 tonnes of the Kingdom’s red corn next year, a company official said yesterday.
KOGID Cambodia Co planned to spend about US$7 million on red corn from the western provinces of Battambang, Pailin and Banteay Meanchey, Kogid Cambodia manager Oung Savuth said.
“We hope the company is successful in buying the red corn as planned,” he said.
He said that in order to support the plan, the company had built a corn-drying plant – able to dry 20 tonnes of corn an hour – in Ratanak Mondul district of Battambang province, and that the plant was being operated in a trial stage.
Kith Seng, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ undersecretary of state, said yesterday that the Kingdom’s western provinces were growing plenty of red corn, but that the growers often struggled to find enough buyers.
“We support the company’s plan to buy red corn because it will help expand market opportunities for our farmers’ products,” Kith Seng said.
According to a Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries report, last year’s total red corn harvest was 780,754 tonnes – 672,177 tonnes of which was from Battambang, Pailin and Beanteay Meanchey provinces.
In June 2009, KOGID Cambodia announced that it had invested $150 million to buy from 70,000 to 150,000 tonnes of red corn per year from Cambodia to export to South Korea for processing into animal feed.
Oung Savuth said that his company aims to buy a fairly large amount of Cambodian red corn but was not certain it would accomplish its goal, as there were already many competitive buyers of the crop.
Phou Puy, chairman of Battambang province Chamber of Commerce, said 20 companies were competing to buy red corn. Expectations are that about 600,000 tonnes will be produced this year, some of which will be exported to Thailand and Vietnam.