First British Breeding Pigs Exported to Cambodia

CAMBODIA - The first of 600 genetically-advanced breeding pigs have been shipped out to Cambodia as part of a 20-year franchise agreement in a deal clinched by Yorkshire-based international pig-breeding company, ACMC Ltd.
calendar icon 9 January 2009
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It is believed to be the first time ever that Cambodia has imported genetics from Britain. The initial order is worth almost 31 million.

(L-R) Dr Oknha Mong Reththy, CEO of the MRT Group, Stephen Curtis, chairman of ACMC and Sry Thamarong, minister from the Cambodia Prime Minister's office, wear garlands - a symbol of a warm welcome - to greet the arrival of ACMC stock at Phnom Penh airport.

ACMC’s special Meidam and Volante damlines and Vantage sirelines, plus boars representing all three breeds, have been sent to a new unit specially set up on a five-hectare site to house a nucleus herd, in the Prey Nop district of Sihanoukville city, in the west of the country. This has been established by a new company — M’s Pig ACMC (Cambodia) Ltd — set up by the Mong Reththy Group (MRT), a large organisation with interests in civil engineering, construction and shipping as well as agriculture. ACMC has a shareholding in the new company.

The self-contained breeding unit — involving an investment of $5 million ( 33.3 million) — will eventually supply enough commercial AC1 sows to produce 1.1 million slaughter pigs annually and will provide employment for thousands of people in rural areas. The project will also involve a feed-milling operation with a projected output of 330,000 tonnes a year and a slaughter/processing plant to produce ‘Premium Quality Pork’ for the Cambodian population, projected to grow from 13 million to 16 million by 2015.

The agreement was negotiated by ACMC chairman, Stephen Curtis, following a visit in April 2008. Due to the complexity of the order, the stock had to be specially bred to provide the necessary blood-lines.

Cambodia, which currently imports between 2,000 pigs a day from neighbouring countries, principally Thailand, to meet domestic demand is urgently seeking to increase indigenous output through an education project which aims to improve production methods and health standards together with the use of improved stock.

Interestingly, Cambodia will be importing genes, albeit much modified, originally sourced from the Far East. More than two decades ago the prolific Chinese Meishan was brought into Europe. Over a 20-year period ACMC used these genetics to create a new breed, the Meidam, to boost productivity. The Meidam is selected with 16 functioning teats and produces 15 per cent more milk than conventional European lines, enabling it to rear many more pigs. In Europe the AC1 has been shown to produce up to 30 pigs per sow a year.

ACMC believes it is the only company that has managed to incorporate this ability while maintaining high-quality lean carcases in the finishing generation. This is what appealed to the Cambodians.

By special licence the breeding stock was transhipped through Bangkok airport. Their arrival, seen by the media as a historical event, was attended by Dr Oknha Mong Reththy, CEO of the MRT Group, Stephen Curtis, chairman of ACMC, Steve Buckley director of investment from the UK Embassy and Sry Thamarong, Minister Attached to the Prime Minister of Cambodia.

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