PetroVietnam Fertiliser and Chemicals Co. launch its branch in Cambodia

PetroVietnam Fertiliser and Chemicals Joint Stock Company, one of the largest firms traded on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, has officially launched its first Cambodian branch. The company had been operating a representative office in the Kingdom since last May, but aimed to expand its services to domestic farmers with the new branch. Read more of this post

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Microfinance up on agriculture advance

The Kingdom’s growing agricultural sector is leading to more loans and deposits at microfinance institutions.

The small-scale lenders also credit the boost in Cambodia’s agro-industry for declining non-performing loans rates.

“We see that political stability and our economy are offering a strong climate for opening businesses or enlarging the businesses, leading to more demand for loans,” said Sathapana Microfinance Chief Executive Officer Bun Mony. “We don’t have any major challenges, as our performance has improved after being hard hit by the crisis.”

The MFI’s lending totalled $51 million to 4,900 borrowers at the end of June, whiles its NPL rate declined to 0.7 percent from 0.9 percent at the end of December 2010. Read more of this post

Coffee development in Cambodia

Coffee plantations in Cambodia’s northeast are struggling to keep up with rising international demand for the increasingly lucrative beans, farmers and traders said.

Orders for Cambodian-grown coffee beans from countries such as Japan and Korea as well as domestic demand has increased rapidly, while prices have jumped nearly 40 percent since 2009, traders said. 

Higher prices are ushering more farmers into the market, but supply from Mondulkiri province’s roughly 30 hectares of coffee plantation is falling short.

Im Saroeun, a farmer at the Coffee Plantation Resort in Mondolkiri province, said his plantation is turning down contracts from foreign importers. It simply cannot fill the orders, he said. Read more of this post

Malaysian interest up in Cambodia’s land concessions

Lion Forest Industries Berhad will seek to acquire a 9,995 hectare concession in Cambodia, the latest in a number of Malaysian firms eyeing the Kingdom to increase land banks this year.

The firm aims to cultivate rubber and palm oil on the proposed concession in Preah Vihear province, with a total investment of 11.77 million ringgit (US$3.9 million), according to a filing on the Bursa Malaysia late on Wednesday.

Lion Forest halted its operations in Malaysia and China and is seeking to tap into a new core business and diversify its earnings stream, the statement said.
“For investors looking to grow and process crops, Cambodia is an ideal location as it has plenty of land available for agricultural concessions,” it said. Read more of this post

Cambodian rubber strides on

Swift Resources, a rubber company with more than 3,800 hectares of rubber plantation in Kratie province, is preparing to raise funds with an initial public offering on the Hong Kong stock exchange. While the price of rubber remains high, the company is looking to fund further expansion of its plantations in Mondulkiri, Ratanakkiri and Steung Treng provinces, Kong Kimny, administrative manager of Swift Resources Snoul rubber plantation, said yesterday.  Read more of this post

Work on Canadia rice mills begins

Canadia Bank  has begun construction on an US$8 million rice processing facility in Takeo province, aiming to process rice for export to the international market, company officials said.

Set up in the province’s Doun Keo district, the mill will be capable of processing up to 500 tonnes of paddy per day, Canadia Investment Department Manager Rien Samrith said.

“We want to invest in this province because of its potential for agriculture, and we want to push people to produce more rice,” he said.

Construction on the facility began earlier this month, and will be finished by September this year. Read more of this post

Cashews catching on

Prices for cashew nuts have increased this year, as demand on the international market increases. Cashew exporter Agro-star said prices have increased to about US$2,000 per tonne, an increase of $100 since March. Government officials said the price increase could lead to more areas under plantation.

Rice traders see room to grow in US market

Cambodian rice imports to the US have increased recently, and producers now say they are seeking to maintain quality standards to continue shipments.

“Cambodian rice was imported into the US before, but the companies couldn’t sustain the quality of rice after the initial shipment,” Phanarith An, who works with rice importer Angkor International, said as a guest on “Hello VOA” Monday. “So customers complained and the companies went out of business.”

“Thanks to state-of-the-art machines and the selection of crops,” he said, “we can now guarantee the consistent quality of our rice.” Read more of this post

Battambang districts facing drought

More than 1,000 families across four districts of Battambang face the prospect of losing their rice crop this year if rain does not arrive by the end of next week, the director of the province’s department of agriculture said yesterday.

“If the rain does not arrive within one week, rice crops will be destroyed in areas of four districts,” Cheam Chansophorn said.

About 10,000 hectares of rice fields are threatened so far, he said. The four districts already facing severe drought in some communes are Kors Kralor, Moung Russei, Thma Koul and Rokak Tivea.  Read more of this post

Cambodia’s fish exports decline 33% in first 6 months

Cambodia recorded 33 % decline in fish exports in the first half of this year, compared with the same period a year ago, showed the figure from the Fisheries Administration on Tuesday. 

From January to June this year, the country has exported 16,000 tons of fresh and processed fish with an estimated revenues of 45 million U.S. dollars, 33% decrease from 24,000 tons with the total cost of 67 million U.S. dollars at the same period last year.  Read more of this post