THE Mong Reththy Group, a diversified company that recently moved into the pig-rearing trade, has called on microfinance institutions (MFIs) to lend money to farmers so they can buy its piglets.
Company President Mong Reththy said the Kingdom would benefit by importing fewer pigs from neighbouring states. He said 800 pigs are imported to the capital daily, and that the country spends US$100 million annually on pork imports.
"Our breeding program won't be able to increase Cambodian pig production if farmers lack money to buy piglets to raise," he said.
Figures from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries show the country consumed almost 225,000 tonnes of pork last year.
The Mong Reththy Group recently spent $5 million importing 600 breeding pigs from Britain. It plans to breed 7,000 piglets for sale by next March, each of which will sell for around $50.
Mong Reththy predicted that pig imports could cease entirely if MFIs loaned cash for piglet purchases. But he said most MFIs were more interested in housing loans than in supporting livestock purchases.
However Chea Phallarin, director of MFI Amret, welcomed the request. He warned that to succeed, farmers would need experience raising pigs.
Chea Phallarin said it was not clear whether Mong Reththy's imported pigs would cope with the local climate and diseases.
"But we are ready to lend to farmers at a rate of just 2.25-3 percent per month," he said.