Cambodian pig farms close as pork imports surge

Farmers urge government to reduce Thai quota

Thai pigs have flooded the Cambodian market, resulting in lower prices and the failure of hundreds of hog farms, according to The Phnom Penh Post.

The annual import quota for Thai pigs has gone from just 2,000 pigs in 2007 to 300,000 in 2008 and 2009, said Curtis Hundley of the Cambodia Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Strengthening Project, which is supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development. He said those imports were worth about US$35M.

Cambodian pig farmers offered various solutions, from cutting the import quota in half to adjusting it on a weekly basis to make up for shortfalls in domestic production, The Phnom Penh Post reported.

The director general of Cambodia's Animal Health and Production Department said lowering the quota could raise pork prices out of reach for most Cambodians.

On Dec. 17, the retail price for pork was US$3.69 per kilogram in the Phnom Penh area, a 3.75% drop from Jan. 1, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

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