The company says offspring from the new pigs imported from England could reduce Cambodia’s ‘pig deficit’ and eventually make Cambodia into a net pork exporter
Photo by: HENG CHIVOAN
A newly-arrived pig from England at Pochentong airport in December.
The Mong Reththy Group on Monday announced an ambitious plan to breed up to one million pigs per year by 2015 to boost local production and cut dependence on foreign sources.
The latest imports are part of a US$5-million plan announced last year to import 600 Yorkshire breeding pigs from a farm in northern England.
The first shipment of 150 pigs arrived in Phnom Penh in mid-December, the company said at the time, and the pigs were expected to provide the foundation of a new program to expand local pig farming.
Company CEO and President Mong Reththy said he is preparing to distribute the first generation of breeder piglets in the coming weeks.
"I think the Cambodian people will not face a pork shortage for much longer as we continue to breed more piglets," Mong Reththy said, adding that the company expected the remaining 450 Yorkshire breeders to arrive by early February.
Mong Reththy said the company has also expanded facilities to house the breeders on 20 hectares of land near a company-owned palm oil plantation on the border of Koh Kong and Sihanouk provinces.
Man Bunneang, a pig farmer in Kampong Speu province, said Monday the new Yorkshire piglets could improve the sector for farmers who have struggled to cope with rising demand and volatile prices.
"I think this is an important step because we can reduce pig imports from abroad," he said.
"Local producers can only supply about 40 percent of market demand at the moment, so we must raise more pigs to cut down on imports and to stabilise the price of pork," he said.
Exports to come
The plan to grow more pigs at home could turn Cambodia from a pig importer to a pig exporter, said the company.
I think this is an important step
because we can
reduce pig imports.
Cambodia consumes 7,000 pigs per day - 1,600 in Phnom Penh alone, according to figures from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
To meet the country's pork shortfall - estimated to be about 600 daily - the government allows farmers to import up to 800 pigs, principally from Thailand. But many more are smuggled in from abroad.
Kao Phal, director of the Animal Health and Production Department at the Ministry of Agriculture, said the introduction of the breeders, which reach maturity more rapidly than local types, would also boost incomes of animal feed growers.
He said that corn, cassava and soybean farmers could benefit most from local pig production.
"The development of breeding farms and animal food plants will help create employment and generate new opportunities for production," he said.
"It will provide more job opportunities for rural residents and help boost family incomes," he added.
The company earlier announced a $4-million state-of-the-art slaughterhouse and processing facility that meets international sanitary standards.
The facilities will be equipped with imported German machinery and are slated to open this year.