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Plans take root for cassava processor

A woman collects cassava in Kratie’s Snuol district in 2012.
A woman collects cassava in Kratie’s Snuol district in 2012. Heng Chivoan

Plans take root for cassava processor

A Chinese-based investment firm has announced plans to begin construction on the first of 10 cassava processing plants next month, with a total planned investment of $150 million, according to Agriculture Minister Veng Sokhon.

Hong Kong-based Green Leader Holding Group signed a memorandum of understanding with the government in January, and its first factory is planned to cover 20 hectares in Kratie province’s Snuol district.

“The company has showed . . . a strong passion to build the cassava processing factories across agricultural region, and during our discussion they said they already had money from a bank for the investment,” Sokhon said yesterday.

Commerce Ministry spokesman Long Kemvichet said the company had shared with the ministry initial plans for the first factory, which is set to have the capacity to produce 100,000 tonnes of tapioca a year – a haul that would require 500,000 tonnes of raw cassava.

“The company will work with farmers by contract farming and provide technical assistance, so the coming of the company will ensure the market and price for farmers,” he said.

Vorn Thorn, a cassava farmer with 10 hectares of land in Battambang province, said he would welcome the ability to sell cassava in the domestic market rather than exporting it to Thailand, which is what he currently does with his harvest.

“It would be good if we could sell our cassava to our own market,” Thorn said. “Then we do not worry about issues such as the border closing, which lowers the price.”

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