Cambodia satisfies insatiable meat demand with imports

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodia imported 54,149 tonnes of livestock and meat to meet domestic demand last year. Heng Chivoan

Cambodia imported 54,149 tonnes of livestock and meat to meet domestic demand last year, according to a Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries report.

According to the report, Cambodia last year produced a total of 231,283 tonnes of meat for domestic consumption, equivalent to 81 per cent of total domestic demand, with totalled 285,432 tonnes.

 

The report showed that the Kingdom last year imported 630,776 live pigs, 3,981,303 live chickens and 2,440.7 tonnes of various meat and dairy products – including pork, chicken, duck, quail, beef, buffalo, meat cakes and cheeses.

Filling shortages

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries spokesman Srey Vuthy told The Post on Wednesday that the decline in family livestock raising operations and a growing demand for food has forced the Kingdom to import meat from foreign countries to fill the shortages.

He said in order to reduce imports the ministry is currently focusing on promoting domestic rearing.

“For the year 2019 and the next coming years, we hope that meat imports will be reduced. The ministry has a policy of boosting domestic rearing by at least three per cent annually,” he said.

Last year, Cambodia produced 86,772 tonnes of beef, 99,793 tonnes of pork and 44,718 tonnes of poultry, according to the report.

 

Vuthy said commercial animal rearing in the Kingdom is gradually showing positive signs of growth.

According to Vuthy, “luxury” meat imports to Cambodia mostly come from Australia, South Korea and the US, while “normal” meat imports come from neighbouring countries.

However, the Kingdom also exported animals for meat to foreign markets last year.

According to the data, Cambodia last year exported 6,786 head of cattle, 5,505 pigs and 10,472 macaques.

According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, the average Cambodian eats 17.6kg of meat per year – including 5kg of beef, 9.29kg of pork, 3.3kg of poultry and 0.01kg miscellaneous meats.