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Pig Industry Hard Hit by Feed Prices and Imports

by 5m Editor
13 October 2008, at 9:34am

CAMBODIA - Farmers say they are unable to expand their businesses faced with rising operating costs and the falling market price of pork.

Corn prices have risen to 1,250 riels (KHR) per kilo from KHR600 last year, while soybeans hit KHR1,200 per kilo from KHR500 last year. Rice dust has gone from KHR700 last year to KHR1,200 now, Srun Sour told Phnom Penh Post.

"We are trying to promote pig farms to provide jobs to local people - especially farmers who grow corn, soybeans and rice. But imported pigs from neighboring countries threaten our farms," Srun Sour said.

"The government should definitely cut the number of imported pigs to assure the sustainability of the local industry," he said.

Ho Seung Thur, a former pig farmer from Sdav village, Dey Eth commune, Kien Svay district, Kandal province, said his farm went bankrupt last month due to high feed prices and falling income.

"The sale price of pigs does not balance with its costs," said Ho Seung Thur.

"The estimated cost of raising one kilo of pork is KHR9,000 but traders offer only KHR7,000 per kilo for live pigs."

Som Siborin, a pig farmer from Kandal province, told the newspaper that he will sell his farm next month if prices stay high. "I still have about 400 pigs in my farm and I will sell all the pigs and the farm next month," he said, adding that he needs to raise money to repay a microfinance loan he took out in early 2007.

Som Siborin said he has seen large-scale pig-smuggling from Thailand that is undercutting domestic pig prices. "These imports have caused pig prices to decline but the price of food is increasing, so we cannot afford to pay our debts," he said..

Soam Sin, deputy governor of Kien Svay district in Kandal province, urged the government to cut pig imports. "I think, if imports were cut 20 percent, local pig raisers will no longer go out of business," he said.

According to Animal Health and Production Department (AHPD), the entire country needs about 7,000 pigs per day. Phnom Penh alone consumes about 1,600 pigs per day.

AHPD reported that Cambodia imports 600 pigs per day from Thailand for the Phnom Penh market with the remainder raised locally.

"Cambodia needs to improve pig raising in Cambodia, otherwise we cannot compete," AHPD told Phnom Penh Post.

5m Editor