Fruit processing plans crop up

 Chhut Bunthoeun / Khmer Times

Shang Da Jian Hui International agriculture Product And Logistic Co Ltd, a joint venture investment between local and Chinese investors, is constructing a large-scale fruit-processing facility in the coastal Preah Sihanouk province, to help stabilise the market for local farmers.

The provincial administration this week has pledged to facilitate the investment project in terms of some legal documents that need to be dealt with by the local authority so that it can be realised soon.

The company, which already registered its project at the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), is now installing its structural facility, hoping to solve market problems experienced by farmers, especially local mango growers, once it begins operation.

The government arm responsible for overseeing investment CDC approved the licence for the project in late February, with a registered capital investment recorded roughly at $8.8 million. It is expected to create 201 jobs. It’s not yet known what the size of the facility will be nor when it will begin to operate. It will be used to process mangoes, cashews, pineapples and bananas into dried fruits and located in Komp Kampong Seila district, in the Ou Bak Roteh commune of the province.

“On behalf of the local authority, we want and encourage such an investment and we will assist in making it happen so that this will help our farmers, particularly mango growers,” said the provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun.

He added that local farmers are producing more mangoes than the market demands. “With the oversupply, they do not know where to sell them and this investment is a hope for them to ensure the market is stabilised.

There are currently 11 agricultural investment projects invested in the province, recording a capital investment valued at about $214 million, with an additional nine firms and projects invested in food processing, beverages and tobacco with a combined value worth more than $334 million.

Cambodia has a growing number of food and agro-processing industries. The country is now starting to export processed food and agricultural products in greater volumes after producing them mostly for local consumption in the past.

Prime Minister Hun Sen recently called for more investments in the agro-processing sector in Cambodia from foreign investors and local business people because of the shortage here.

He sees it as crucial because the country exported mostly raw materials to foreign countries, especially Vietnam. Therefore, if there is more investment in processing plants, it would help to create more jobs for people and provide added-value.