Longmate Agricuture Co., Ltd. announced that it has invested $32 million to grow bananas in 1,000 hectares of land in Kampot’s Chhouk district.
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Longmate, a joint-venture between Cambodian and Chinese investors, announced its decision to invest in the local banana sector earlier this month, but did not provide specific details then.
Phe Hok Chuon, chairman of the company’s board of directors, said he decided to invest in banana farming because his Chinese partner, Li Xiaoquan, has plenty of experience in the sector.
“Moreover, Cambodia has an excellent climate and soil for this type of banana product,” Mr Hok Chuon said.
“This project, the first large-scale investment in Cambodian bananas, will play an important role in promoting the growth of the national economy by creating employment opportunities for many Cambodians and curbing labour migration.”
Mr Hok Chuon said the company’s farm will become a model for other farms in the country, making an important contribution to the development of the agriculture sector.
Li Xiaoquan, Longmate’s director, said China has recently reduced banana production after crops in the country where attacked by a particularly harmful disease. Demand for the fruit in China, however, remains high.
“I have great confidence in this investment. Cambodia has a great weather for banana farming. The weather here is similar to that of the Philippines, the largest banana grower and exporter in the world,” Mr Li said.
He said the project has create well-paying jobs with good working conditions for 300 people, who won’t need to migrate to other countries to find employment.
Cambodia signed a deal with China earlier this month that allows the shipment of Cambodian bananas to the Chinese market.