Cambodia embraces intensive livestock production

Cambodia, a Southeast Asian country with 15 million inhabitants, has begun to embrace intensive livestock production despite numerous obstacles. The industry heavily relies on the import of genetics, soybean meal, fish meal, additives, medicines and vaccines. A major constraint preventing producers from taking up intensive farming is the lack of access to electricity in rural areas. … CP Cambodia is by far the largest supplier of complete feed, breeding stock, live animals, processed meat and ready-to-eat products. The company supplies 42,000 tonnes/month of feed for all livestock species, including the recently completed plant in Kandal province which has a capacity of 5,000 tonnes/month. Other players include Betagro which imports 3,500 tonnes from across the Thai border. It plans to invest US$500 million in a new mill with a capacity of 12,000 tonnes/month. … Traditionally Cambodia’s consumers have a preference for pork, which explains why the livestock market is dominated by pig production. Nevertheless the country relies on the import of breeding and finishing stock. Cambodia’s agriculture ministry estimates that total demand for pigs in the country is 3.25 million head. With a domestic production of 2.4 million, officials say, the need to import pigs will continue in the near future. Structural problems such as high interest rates, endemic disease, market volatility, and technological backwardness prevent the industry from meeting local demand over the near term. A substantial part of the live imports come from Thailand, but around one-third of all live animals imported from this country are re-exported to Vietnam. … At present, it is estimated that chicken eggs account for only 40% of the total egg market. The total chicken layer population is estimated at 800,000 hens. Major players in this segment are CP Cambodia, Ngee Heng, Master Feed and SCF.