Vietnamese firm Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) plans to expand its banana plantations in Ratanakkiri province to increase exports to the Chinese market.
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The firm will invest $42 million in 5,000 hectares of land in the province to grow bananas that will be shipped to China, according to a company announcement.
The company now owns 1,000 hectares of banana farmland in Cambodia.
HAGL exports about 240,000 tonnes of the product to China every year, CEO Doan Nguyen Duc said, adding that the Chinese market demands nearly 15 million tonnes of bananas a year.
The company’s bananas sell for 95-99 cents per kilogram from September to March and 56-60 cents the rest of the year, HAGL said.
The announcement comes just a few days after the signing of a deal with China earlier this month that allows the shipment of Cambodian bananas to the biggest market in the world.
On August 13, the Ministry of Agriculture issued a statement announcing that owners of farms and export companies that register with the ministry will benefit from expert guidance to help them in the process of shipping bananas to China.
Soy Sona, director of Ratanakkiri’s agriculture department, confirmed the company’s intentions.
“I have been told that the company will expand its banana farms in the province, but I haven’t received any official document yet,” Mr Sona said.
Mr Sona said HAGL has been exporting to China, via Vietnam, since last year. He said they have received the necessary sanitary and phytosanitary certificate given by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Besides bananas, the company, through subsidiaries, also plants mango, dragon fruit, and pomelo in 30,000 hectares of farmland in Ratanakkiri province, Mr Sona said.
HAGL has a combined 13,500 hectares of farmland in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. It is a major producer and exporter of dragon fruits and chili peppers.