Longmate Agriculture Co., Ltd, a joint-venture between Cambodian and Chinese investors, plans to export about 30,000 tonnes of yellow banana to China.
The company announced in August that it had invested $32 million to grow bananas in 1,000 hectares of land in Kampot’s Chhouk district.
Phe Hok Chuon, chairman of the company’s board of directors, said, “The company expects that the bananas will be harvested by the end of this year and processed and packaged for export by January next year.
“We will ship 30,000 tonnes,” he said, adding that the amount of bananas that the company will export to China will double in upcoming years.
“The company believes this first large-scale investment in the bananas segment in Cambodia is a major contribution to national economic growth. It will generate employment, reduce poverty, and curb worker migration,” Mr Hok Chuon added.
As of today, the company has cleared the land and set up the irrigation system in nearly 300 hectares of land, which will be planted with banana trees imported from China, but that are originally from Australia.
The plantation already employs 500 workers and will generate an additional 500 jobs by the end of 2018.
Veng Sakhon, Minister of Agriculture, said that the investment reflects the government’s efforts to boost growth in the agricultural sector and modernise the industry.
He said the government aims to make agriculture more profitable for workers and land owners, which, he added, is an important element in transforming Cambodia into a middle-income economy by 2030.
“Longmate’s investment and actions in the country are in line with the government’s strategic policy, which is based in modernising the sector, generating jobs and training workers,” Mr Sakhon said.
Cambodia signed a deal with China in August that allows the shipment of Cambodian bananas to the Chinese market.