Khmer Fresh Milk Co Ltd plans to supply the Cambodian dairy market with 100 per cent local high-quality products under strict hygiene standards, co-founding partner Chy Sila told The Post on Wednesday.

Operating the commercial dairy Kirisu Farm and processing plant, the company has a long-term vision to bring pure natural milk produced by modern agricultural techniques and food preparation and processing under world-class hygienic standards to the Kingdom’s market, he said.

“We bring the latest technology and are working with world-renowned Israeli agricultural experts on raising dairy cows and crop production to help us with cultivation techniques and cow health care.

“We’ll process 100 per cent pure high-quality natural milk in line with international standards,” Sila said.

He said the company will stock shelves across Cambodia next month with fresh milk, with fresh yoghurt and butter to follow soon.

The company is closely monitoring the market to determine the price of its products, he added.

“Kirisu Farm plans to sell pure natural milk and fresh yoghurt in supermarkets, marts, restaurants and cafes in the city.

“Given that our country imports 99 per cent of its milk, our products will be supplied locally to whittle that down,” Sila said.

In its preliminary phases, the processing plant is able to produce fresh milk at a rate of between 2,000 and 3,000 litres per day and will be able to churn out 10,000 once the production line is fully online, he said.

“The fresh milk market in Cambodia has seen increased demand in the last five years, as people have begun to better understand the benefits of milk – that having a good deal of calcium proves valuable to child health and nutrition for the elderly,” Sila said.

He boasted that his company will provide the purest milk that Cambodians have ever tasted, and the investment will contribute to the government’s initiative to accelerate progress in the development of the Kingdom’s agricultural sector.

“Our products will help improve the health of Cambodian children and provide healthy nutritious fares for the next generation which will become even more inclined to drink fresh milk.

“We have also brought the world’s most advanced agricultural techniques to Cambodia, which proves that we can also do the work under the same quality and ethical standards as other countries.

“We can mobilise and develop human resources by training people in the latest techniques, and allure them into modern farming as well,” Sila said.

‘World-class heifers’

The company officially registered in July 2017 with capital investment of about $10 million.

The 300ha farm lies in a secluded valley in the shadow of Phnom Tamao mountain in Kandoeng commune’s Ukasaing village in Takeo province’s Bati district, nearly 40km south of Phnom Penh.

Khmer Fresh Milk CEO Rithy Chhor said Kirisu Farm is an innovative, high-tech dairy farm and milk production plant several years in the making.

He said preparations to supply fresh milk to the market gained a lot of steam in the beginning of the year to ensure the company’s products hit the shelves within the year.

“We were delighted that we were able to manage bringing these world-class heifers into the country from Australia. It’s great to see how quickly they have settled in Cambodia and how healthy they are. Our farm has been built using the most sophisticated technologies.

“We would like to thank the government for making it easy for us to bring in heifers from Australia into the country.

“Due to Covid-19 pandemic, it has been more complicated getting our team of top international dairy farm agronomists and technology experts into the country.

“But thanks to the government making the visa process easy for us, they all arrived in Cambodia on time.

“I am happy to report that all is on track and we are proud that the project is still close to its pre-Covid-19 schedule,” Chhor said.

Khmer Fresh Milk is a long-term partnership between Singapore-based Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar Development Fund II managed by Emerging Markets Investment Advisers (EMIA), Nexasia, a Japanese fund based in Singapore, and the founders group consisting of highly successful Israeli and local Cambodian entrepreneurs.

Technology partner Afimilk Agricultural Cooperative Ltd, an Israeli company, is one of the largest suppliers of dairy farm technology and management in the world.

Afimilk has successfully set up and run many similar projects around the world, including in Vietnam, Bangladesh and China.

There are currently two dairy farms in Cambodia – Moo Moo Farm in Lvea Em district’s Arey Ksat commune in Kandal province which has about 200 cows and produces between 1,300-1,500 litres of fresh milk per day.

Techo Sen Russey Trip Dairy Farm in Chheb district’s Chheb II commune in Preah Vihear province covers 70ha and has a production capacity of about 600 to 700 litres per day.