The Phnom Penh Municipality could soon be getting into the meat business.
Municipal officials said this week that they are working to set up three partially city-owned slaughterhouses of international standard in the city to attract a Vietnamese meat processing plant.
“Today we do not own any slaughterhouses,” said Pheng Sokham, municipal agriculture department director.
“The goal is to set up three slaughterhouses on the outskirts under the control of City Hall.”
Private investors will be sought to form the joint ventures with the municipality, he said.
The municipality anticipates that a subdecree will be issued by the end of 2005 governing the operation of slaughterhouses in the city.
Pheng Sokham said two locations have been scouted for plants: Meanchey district’s Chbar Ampov I commune and Russei Keo district.
Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Pa Socheatavong said that he had held discussions with a Vietnamese meat processing plant about setting up shop in Phnom Penh. But added that the city would have to guarantee the processing plant a supply of quality meat before the company would sign on.
A Ministry of Agriculture animal health expert said on condition of anonymity that the ministry is drafting a subdecree on the regulation of slaughterhouses, which will be sent to the Council of Ministers this year.
Current private slaughterhouses are not of a standard that allow meat export, he said.
Pheng Sokham said private slaughterhouses in Phnom Penh kill 950 pigs and 80 cows and buffaloes per day. There are more than 30 private slaughterhouses.
Nhem Sophal, 48, operator of a slaughterhouse located in Russei Keo district’s Chroy Changvar commune, welcomed the municipality’s possible entrance into the business, but suggested it could be a tough investment.
“The business does not really make me money,” Nhem Sophal said.