The Agriculture Ministry has granted exclusive rights to four Cambodian companies to import a daily maximum of 800 live pigs into Cambodia as part of a policy to help stabilize the local price of pork, commodities tycoon Mong Reththy said.
The pigs will be for sale in the Phnom Penh market, where demand stands at 1,600 animals per day said Mong Reththy, adding that he would purchase the remaining 800 from Cambodian farmers for redistribution in the capital.
The government in March lifted a seven-month ban on imported pigs in an effort to slow the rise of burgeoning food prices. However swine farmers have since complained of damaging competition from imports.
Mong Reththy said Friday that the four firms had met at his Phnom Penh offices on Thursday and thumb-printed an agreement to sell the imports at 8,700 riel, or about $2.10, per kilogram.
The Tho Kimsreang company will be allowed to import 250 pigs per day, the Kompong Speu Pig Raisers Association will be allotted a 200-pig daily quota, the Garuda Security Guard company will be allowed to import 180 pigs while the Chanto Meanchey company can import 170 pigs, he said.
“The Agriculture Ministry and I want to help local pig raisers, which is why we are limiting the number of imported pigs,” Mong Reththy said, adding that he hoped the price of pork would not rise above 20,000 riel, or $5, per kilogram.
Mong Reththy said the imported pigs would be sold exclusively in Phnom Penh as local producers largely serve provincial markets.
Kao Phal, director of the Agriculture Ministry’s animal health and production department, said he was too busy to comment. However Chau Kim, an advisor to the department, confirmed that the ministry had granted the rights to the four companies.
“The ministry has granted the right to four companies for importing foreign pigs but I don’t know how they decided on these four firms,” he said.
Mong Reththy said he is currently investing $5 million in a joint venture with a British firm to produce piglets for breeding from English stock.