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SK firm sows pesticide/fertiliser project plans

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ARDB director-general Kao Thach (left) discusses credit policy with ‘Park’ (second right) and other company representatives. ARDB

SK firm sows pesticide/fertiliser project plans

The state-owned Agricultural and Rural Development Bank of Cambodia (ARDB) announced that a South Korean company was interested in setting up animal feed mills, chemical pesticide factories and agricultural fertiliser plants in the Kingdom to prop up the embryonic sector.

ARDB director-general Kao Thach told The Post on Sunday that he had met company representatives last week who inquired about the institution’s credit policy for such an investment. They were led by a man whom he identified only as “Park”.

“Were the company to set up the factories, they wouldn’t only supply the local market, but also export to South Korea and China,” he said, without naming the company.

“They wanted to know if the government backs the private sector in setting up fertiliser and pesticide plants or not. I told them that the government is very supportive of such investment projects.

“We want to welcome more local factories and thus drive down the prices of fertilisers and pesticides and uplift their quality. We’ll financially back any local who wants to set up these factories,” Thach said.

Cambodia imported more than 1.2 million tonnes of agricultural fertilisers and chemical pesticides last year, up more than nine per cent compared to 1.1 million tonnes in 2018, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries reported.

Of that, more than 1.14 million tonnes were fertilisers and 81,097 tonnes were chemical pesticides, it said.

The Kingdom imports more than 90,000 tonnes per month of about 2,600 types of fertilisers and pesticides to serve the agricultural sector.

Tan Pannara, the director-general of the ministry’s Department of Animal Health and Production, told The Post on June 8 that there are 18 livestock feed production factories operating in Cambodia and another one is being built.

The factories are capable of producing more than 1.2 million tonnes of livestock feed per year, equal to 56 per cent of the country’s current supply.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng said the government is working to encourage and charm more foreign investors to set up feed, fertiliser and pesticide factories in the Kingdom, citing the acute lack of investment in the segment.

“To bring in more investment, we need to reinforce infrastructure and keep production costs low,” he said.

As of December 31, the ministry has granted pesticide/fertiliser registration certificates to 235 companies and pesticide/fertiliser import and export certificates to 226 companies nationwide.

There were 107 agricultural fertiliser importers and 61 pesticide importers in the Kingdom, as well as 58 companies that import both.

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