Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Observers say croc rearing sector must mature further

Observers say croc rearing sector must mature further

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodia has almost 1,000 crocodile farms. Ananth Baliga

Observers say croc rearing sector must mature further

The price of baby crocodiles this year has risen almost 30 percent from last, driven by high demand from Vietnam, with government officials warning that selling live crocodiles can incur losses for farmers.

The price of crocodile offspring, which vendors buy from farms for export to Vietnam, increased from $14 per animal last year to $18, according to crocodile farm owners.

Kiri Sokhom, a crocodile farmer in Siem Reap province, who raises more than 500 mature crocodiles, said that the price rise will initially be a positive thing.

However, he believes that the price will decline as more supply hits the market.

“Prices are always high at the beginning, but at the end of the season prices will go down so many raising crocodiles could face losses,” he said.

Another crocodile raiser, Lim Rithy, who is also a member of the Crocodile Raising Association of Siem Reap, said that earlier this year traders increased buying to export more animals to Vietnam.

“The baby crocodiles are bought from Cambodia and sold to Vietnamese crocodile farm owners,” he said, adding that Vietnamese farmers raise the reptiles for their skin, which is often exported to China.

One crocodile broker, who gave his name only as Vichet, said that every year he buys baby crocodiles from Cambodia to bring to Vietnam where the price is set by buyers.

Most crocodile farmers in Cambodia sell live reptiles rather than hides, which one government official said could spell potential losses for the sector.

Nao Thouk, secretary of state at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said most of Cambodia’s crocodile offspring are exported to Vietnam and Thailand, while occasionally to China.

While welcoming rising prices, he believes that raising the animals for their skin would add more value to the sector.

“Usually the price of crocodile skin fluctuates with the international market, and products made with crocodile skin command a higher price,” he said.

“[Farmers] can earn between $200 and $300 for the skin [of a crocodile] only a year or two years old,” he said. “As far as I know, only Cambodia has the practice of raising crocodiles for the purpose of hatching and then selling them – others raise them for the skin and export at a high price.”

According to Ministry of Agriculture data, there are around 700 crocodile farms in Cambodia, of which 445 have been registered with the Ministry of Agriculture.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince injured, wife dies after accident

    THE wife of former First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Ouk Phalla, 39, died while the prince was “severely” injured following a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nub district on Sunday morning, officials said. Rananriddh, who is also the president of the Funcinpec

  • Guards protest dismissals, reject claims of sharing naked photos of child

    Some 20 former security guards at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh protested on Tuesday against their dismissal. They accused their employers of falsely claiming they had viewed and shared child pornography from their mobile phones as grounds for their termination. In total, 32 personnel were dismissed

  • We’re going to Wisney World!

    More than 6,000 mostly Chinese attendees witnessed the inauguration ceremony of a $1 billion Sihanoukville resort project called Wisney World in the capital on Wednesday. The event on Koh Pich, attended by several senior Cambodian government officials, is a joint venture between China’s AMC International and

  • Funcinpec urges probe into deadly Preah Sihanouk accident

    THE Funcinpec party has urged the government, especially the Ministry of Interior, to investigate the traffic accident in Preah Sihanouk province which left Prince Norodom Ranariddh badly injured and his wife Ouk Phalla dead. Funcinpec Vice President You Hokry told reporters at Botum Votey pagoda,