Battambang Rice Investment Company Ltd (BRICO), a part-Cambodian-owned joint venture, plans to export 10,000 tonnes of fragrant milled rice abroad in June.
Youk Chamroeunrith, chairman of the firm’s board of directors, told the Post yesterday that BRICO is a joint venture between himself, locally owned importer-exporter Lorana, a Singaporean investor and Emerging Market Investment Fund (EMI). Between them, they invested more than $3.5 million in the rice-milling venture in Battambang province’s Thma Koul district.
The company’s rice mill, situated on 6.5 hectares of land, was bought from Thailand, Chamroeunrith said.
“We got approval from the Council for Development of Cambodia (CDC) for the investment in November last year. We have started construction early this year, and now it is about 70 per cent complete.
We hope construction will definitely finish by June or July this year,” he said, adding that the mill will process 15 tonnes of rice per hour.
Mao Sovin, an investment manager at EMI and director of BRICO, said he believes the country’s rice sector has a high degree of potential.
“Rice is the priority in the agricultural sector that the government is promoting, so we see great potential and a good return on the investment,” he said. “Secondly, most paddy rice is usually sold to neighbouring countries because our millers don’t have enough money to buy and our country does not have enough processing facilities.
“We decided to invest in the sector by bringing high-tech machinery and will buy rice from the farmer.
“We expect to export about 10,000 tonnes this year when we plan to export in June or July and we plan to export 30,000 tonnes each year.”