Local firm Ka Sing Co Ltd, is collaborating with the Korean company I Loan D&C Co Ltd, to develop more than 500ha in Kampong Thom province’s Prasat Sambor district as agro-tourism areas in order to promote agriculture and contribute to sustainable socio-economic development.
Ka Sing chairman Hang Sothy said the planned sites would entertain visitors with guided tours of plantations and the local community beginning early next year.
He said the project seeks to capitalise on tourists visiting Sambo Prey Kuk temple, Phnom Santuk hillside, Thnou Sor Ta Prom waterfall and other areas in the province who could pass by the agro-tourism project and buy fruits or vegetables to take home.
Tourists will be able to see and learn about various types of farms and make purchases directly from farmers, Sothy said.
The project area will produce crops such as mangoes, coconuts, corn and soybeans and include factories, bolstering local employment and supplying products for domestic and export markets.
Sothy said I Loan D&C would invest $30 million for the construction of a fertilizer factory and a mango processing factory that will begin by the end of 2021.
“We have been working on this for more than three years. Some aspects of the project are still being studied while others are ready to implement. For tourism, we are now setting up tents and boats for accommodating visitors and preparing to launch these initiatives gradually from the beginning of next year,” he said.
Kampong Thom provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries director Pen Vanrith expressed support for private sector investments in agriculture and hoped that it would result in job creation that generates income for local people.
“We support the establishment of agro-tourism to attract tourists and introduce them to the development of the agricultural sector in the province as well as new opportunities for people to be able to earn extra income through employment or growing their own products,” he said.
Sok Ratha, Kampong Thom provincial coordinator of the NGO Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association, described the agricultural sector as a core industry in the country but said development was still relatively limited.
“It’s good to see private businesses, the community and organisations participating in the agricultural sector. Cultivation and animal husbandry will supply produce and bring development at the village level. More importantly, though, the developments should benefit the local people,” he said.