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

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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

Malaysia is third largest investor in Cambodia

Malaysia has become the third largest investor in Cambodia with its investments in the country amounting to US$3.4 billion from 1980.

Malaysian Ambassador to Cambodia, Datuk Pengiran Mohd Hussein Datuk Pengiran Mohd Tahir Nasruddin said Malaysia’a third placing comes after China and Korea.

The investment opportunities for Malaysia are still plenty especially in the agriculture sector considering the availability of large areas of land which are yet to be developed in the country, he said.

“Malaysian companies with potential can invest in the country’s main agriculture sector involving rubber, oil palm and corn,” he told Bernama at his office here after briefing a delegation of 20 students and staff from Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) currently on an academic visit to the country. Read more of this post

Sihanoukville port expansion

 The port aims to begin construction on its 85 million USD expansion later this year, with a tentative completion date of 2014, said Chairman and CEO Lou Kim Chhun last week.

The state-owned enterprise has just approved a deal with Japanese engineering consultancy company Nippon Koei Co, he added.

Chinese firm seeks rice from Cambodia

Chinese agricultural company Sino Grain was in Phnom Penh this week, researching the possibility of importing Cambodian milled rice, according to a ministry statement.

Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh hosted the company’s director general, Xu Ge Fei, and other Sino Grain delegates yesterday, the ministry said.

“With a population of 100 million, Guangdong requires 1 million tonnes of milled rice per month. So food demand is very high, and requires importing for supply and stock,” Xu Ge Fei was quoted as saying in the statement. Read more of this post

ADB helps $4 million to boost biomass use in Greater Mekong Subregion

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is to help the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) scale up the use of biomass waste in the agriculture sector to meet its growing need for clean energy and food security for poor rural households, the media release from ADB said on Monday.

The ADB Board of Directors has approved a regional technical assistance project that will be funded by a $4 million grant from the Nordic Development Fund along with counterpart financing of $600,000 from the governments of Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Viet Nam. Read more of this post

ADB allocates $500 million for 3 years development plan in Cambodia

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday announced a soft-loan package of 488 million U.S. dollars for a new Country Partnership Strategy for 2011-2013 in Cambodia.

The ADB’s resource investment plan is a strong focus on agriculture and natural resources, water supply and municipal development, transport, education, finance, public sector management, energy, and trade facilitation in the Great Mekong Sub- region Read more of this post