TWPC Investment (Cambodia) Co Ltd, from Thailand, will start cassava-processing operations this year in Oddar Meanchey, absorbing the entire cassava production from the province, said Ho Ren Hua, director of the company.
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Mr Ren Hua said this during a meeting on Tuesday with Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon, adding that his company invested in the agro-industry here after receiving approval from the Ministry of Industry and Handicrafts at the end of 2017.
“Currently, the company has completed the construction of the factory but the processing stage will start soon. There are plans to expand the production of cassava from 40,000 to 50,000 tonnes and increase processing capacity to 200,000 tonnes in the future.
“Meanwhile, the company plans to start cassava plantations on 4,000 hectares of land in Oddar Meanchey province’s Samrong district to ensure the sustainability of the supply,” Mr Ren Hua said.
Mr Sakhon said, “The company should implement contract farming by identifying the potential cultivation sites for cassava crops. The provinces bordering Oddar Meanchey have potential for this crop.”
Sot Si Sokheang, director of Oddar Meanchey’s agriculture department, said the factory will absorb all the cassava from the farmers in the province, adding that the company, having three factories in Thailand and two in Vietnam, is experienced in the matter.
“Setting up the cassava-processing factory in the province provides a lot of benefit to farmers and when the factory starts processing, our cassava in the province will not be enough. It will absorb the supply from neighboring provinces like Banteay Meanchey and Siem Reap.
“Now we are preparing procedures with the company to do contract farming with our cassava farmers to guarantee a market to the farmers so they can grow cassava and to sell at market price,” Mr Si Sokheang said.
Cassava cultivated areas in his province amount to 60,000 hectares producing on average 20 tonnes per hectare, according to Mr Si Sokheang.
The government officially launched a new five-year strategy last year, aiming at positioning Cambodia as a reliable supplier of cassava-based products to the global market and create cassava-processing factories.
Cassava is cultivated in 13 provinces, with more than 570,000 hectares that yield around 13 million tonnes of produce a year.