Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New fertiliser venture aims to satisfy growing demand

New fertiliser venture aims to satisfy growing demand

A farmer waters his crops on the outskirts of Phnom Penh in June 2013.
A farmer waters his crops on the outskirts of Phnom Penh in June 2013. Vireak Mai

New fertiliser venture aims to satisfy growing demand

Fertiliser manufacturer Nangoku Agriculture Development, a Japanese-Cambodian joint venture, launched operations yesterday with the aim of supplying locally manufactured fertilisers to Cambodian farmers at affordable prices.

Cambodia’s Bayon Heritage Holding Group Co Ltd holds a 60-percent stake in the $2.2-million joint venture with partner Japanese feed and fertiliser producer Nangoku Kosan Co Ltd.

Chan Sokheang, CEO of Bayon Heritage Holding, said yesterday that the company has built a fertiliser plant on three hectares of land next to National Road 4 in Kandal province. The factory will produce up to 30,000 tonnes of organic fertiliser during its first year of operation, and has the potential for further expansion.

He said Bayon has imported fertiliser from Nangoku Kosan for re-packaging and distribution in the local Cambodian market since 2007. The decision to invest in a local production facility came after observing the steadily growing demand for fertiliser in the market, where a 50-kilo bag fetches a relatively high $25 on average.

“We will still continue to produce the same type of fertilisers at the same price as what we import from Japan,” Sokheang said. “In addition, we will produce additional types of fertilisers that are suitable for the various crops that farmers grow to provide them with more choices, and we will sell this fertiliser at lower prices.”

He added that the new types of fertilisers could sell for as little as $15 per 50-kilo bag.

Sokheang said initially 85 percent of the materials would be imported from Japan, but in the future the factory’s products would include more local content.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Cambodia imported some 570,000 tonnes of fertilisers during the first half of the year, roughly equalling its imports for the whole of 2015. The actual import total could be twice as high if unofficial exchanges along the border are included.

Fertiliser products from Vietnam make up about 60 per cent of all imports, with Thailand accounting for about a third.

The high demand has prompted companies to build fertiliser plants in Cambodia, with Taiwan Fertiliser Company unveiling plans in late 2015 for a large production unit in Preah Sihanouk province with 90,000-tonne annual capacity.

Vietnam’s Five Star International, meanwhile, operates a massive fertiliser plant in Kandal province capable of producing 350,000 tonnes per year.

Mak Soeun, director of the department of agricultural extension at the Ministry of Agriculture, welcomed the prospect of a new fertiliser plant.

“We believe that more producers in the market will help to improve the quality and lower the cost of fertilisers,” he said. “Then farmers will be able to plant crops at a lower price.”

Yang Saing Koma, founder of the agricultural organisation Centre for Study and Development in Agriculture (CEDAC), also welcomed the new Cambodian-Japanese initiative, pointing out that the factory will utilise more local raw materials and improve the overall quality of fertilisers on the market.

However, he encouraged farmers to use “natural” fertilisers, such as manure and animal waste from households.

“We want to see our farmers produce the fertiliser by themselves to reduce the use of factory fertiliser,” he said. “We don’t want farmers to spend so much money buying fertiliser.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom’s domestic milk still cannot compete with imports

    Price competition and a lack of confidence by consumers are the main reasons the dairy market cannot compete with imports, said domestic milk producers. The large displays of imported fresh milk at the Kingdom’s supermarkets present a cumbersome obstacle for local producers, they said.

  • ‘Pesticide-laden cucumbers’ kill two, poison 150 in Banteay Meanchey

    At least two youths have died and 243 others are being treated for vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing difficulties, dizziness and muscle weakness after they ate cucumbers suspected to consist of pesticides. The incident happened on Saturday, said Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief Ath Khem. He told The

  • Three dead, 13 injured in collapse at Siem Reap pagoda

    At least three people were killed and more than 10 others injured on Monday after a dining hall under construction collapsed at Prasat Kokchak pagoda in Kokchak commune, Siem Reap province. Provincial police chief Tith Narong said Military Police, soldiers and local volunteers had successfully recovered 16

  • Forest Harmony’s $18M luxury villas break ground in Kampot

    Local and French joint-venture Forest Harmony has broken ground on its $18 million “second-home” Luxury Holiday Villas project in Kampot province. Century 21 Mekong CEO and local shareholder of the project Chrek Soknim told The Post that the project will comprise 90 villa units covering 18ha on a 97

  • China Unicom enters Cambodia

    China Unicom, the country’s largest telecoms operator, has expanded into Cambodia to build optical telecommunication pathways in the Kingdom as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Hong Kong-listed company officially opened its China Unicom (Cambodia) subsidiary on Monday to become the

  • PP-SHV Expressway on track for completion in early 2023

    The construction of the $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, which broke ground at the end of March, is on track to be completed by early 2023, Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Vasim Sorya said on Monday. The 190km high-speed highway linking the capital to the