SKorean firm to invest $150m in corn plant

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Cambodian corn growers have traditionally dried their crops by hand. (Photo: Tracey Shelton)

Phnom Penh Post | Tuesday, 09 June 2009

Written by Chun Sophal

KOGID Cambodia to grow and process corn to produce animal feed for export, it says, as part of long-term investment

THE Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said Monday that South Korea's KOGID Cambodia plans to invest US$150 million to grow and process corn for animal feed to be sold overseas.

Chan Tong Yves, secretary of state who is in charge of investments at the ministry, told the Post on Monday that the company has long-term investment plans for the Kingdom and would buy from the four top producing provinces.

Chan Tong Yves said KOGID plans to purchase 70,000 to 150,000 tonnes of corn this year from Battambang, Pailin, Kampong Cham and Kandal provinces, and will build corn-drying machines.

"We welcome this plan because it will help create markets for Cambodian corn, which we have had trouble finding," Chan Tong Yves said.

"Our farmers only sell corn to Thailand and Vietnam, and these markets are unpredictable. Sometimes they buy, but sometimes they don't," he added.

According to a report from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, in 2008-09 Cambodia harvested 611,865 tonnes of corn from 163,106 hectares of land.

Battambang province was the leading producer with a yield of 432,966 tonnes.

Pailin province followed, producing 51,302 tonnes, Kampong Cham province 39,245 tonnes and Kandal province 23,610 tonnes.

Tong Savuth, manager of KOGID Cambodia Co Ltd, confirmed on Monday the total investment.

But he added that the company would invest only $38 million from 2009 to 2012 as part of the first phase.

"We are trying to contact brokers to buy corn from farmers in the four provinces for $200 to $210 per tonne for dried corn," he said.

Oung Savuth said his company would buy between 70,000 and 100,000 tonnes from farmers to export to South Korea in 2009.

In 2010 he plans to sign contracts to procure corn from Cambodian farmers, he added.

Oung Savuth also said that to ensure smooth exports in 2010, the company would spend $1.8 million to build three drying machines, each able to dry 500 tonnes of corn per day in Battambang province.

A multi-million dollar storehouse would also be constructed to facilitate sea exportation, he said.

"We will encourage the government to give us land concessions to grow corn after 2012 by providing houses, water and electricity, and building markets and schools and hospitals for our workers by following the same model as the Mong Reththy Group," Oung Savuth said.
Original source: Phnom Penh Post
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