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Agribusiness potential for Cambodia, Mongolia and Myanmar

Double digit GDP growth rates, plenty of farm land and strategically located in Asia. This is why Cambodia, Mongolia, Myanmar are considered emerging markets with huge potential for agribusiness and feed production.

Vietnam is considered as one of the fastest growing and most potential Asian countries, as far as livestock numbers and feed production is concerned. But there are new emerging markets arising, with Myanmar even named the ‘new Vietnam’. At the annual Alltech symposium, more insights on Cambodia, Mongolia and Myanmar were shared.

Cambodia: more commercial farms

Channarit Ky from Alltech Thailand explained that Cambodia has seen an average growth rate in GDP of 8.2% since 1999, against a world average of 3.6%. This represents the highest growth in Southeast Asia. The number of commercial livestock production (compared to household production) have been increasing over the years, showing a professionalisation of the livestock business. Feed production has growth twofold in the past 3 years and continues to grow at a fast pace.

Currently there are 13 feed mills in Cambodia. CP, Green Feed and AgriMaster are the top 3 biggest feed companies in the country with a capacity of 45,000, 30,000 and 30,000 tonnes per month respectively. The potential for agriculture has been spurred by the Cambodian government, who has set clear targets. They want to increase agricultural growth with approximately 5% per year, which has to be reached by increasing crop yield (+10% per year), increasing growth rate of livestock production (+3% per year) and increasing aquaculture by 15% per annum. Next to that, Cambodia has set a strategy to have zero tariff on imported agricultural materials in order to create more competition and to allow farmers to buy high quality and cheaper agricultural materials.

Mongolia: potential for beef exports

Another emerging market that was highlighted was Mongolia. Zambaga Tulga, Mongolian Program Director at Alltech started off explaining that Mongolia has only 3 million inhabitants, but does have 12 sheep per person. The GDP of the country started growing again as of this year. “Most foreign investments are still being done in mining, but there is great opportunities to further develop the agricultural sector. This is because 73.6% of our land is agricultural land, ideal to further increase beef production for example,” explained Tulga. A real game changer can be the beef export, as 1.5 billion people are living in East Asia. Strategically located near China, the country has an advantage to export beef to China, where demand for beef is growing rapidly. However, Mongolia has a lack of manufacturing facilities for beef and the problems with Foot and Mouth Disease are currently hindering the export of beef. “We have eradication programmes in place to get the disease under control as quickly as possible. I expect that this will take another 2-3 years and then we can start exporting beef,” said Tulga.

73.6% of the land in Mongolia is agricultural land, ideal to further increase beef production for example. Photo: Shutterstock
73.6% of the land in Mongolia is agricultural land, ideal to further increase beef production for example. Photo: Shutterstock

Myanmar: appetite for poultry meat

Another country with high GDP growth (7.5% per year since 2011) is Myanmar. This country has a current 116 million broilers, 9 million layers , 1.7 million pigs and 2,000 head cattle. Chanatip Padungdetpasuton, business development manager at Alltech Myanmar explained that this country has seen a lot of investments in transport and communication sectors over the last years. Investments in livestock and fisheries are only 2%. “But I think this will definitely increase in the coming years, as Myanmar is developing itself as a true hub in Southeast Asia. On top of that consumption of animal protein is growing. Especially eggs and poultry meat are consumed more and we have a new investment law in place since April 2017, which encourages companies to invest in important agricultural hubs in the country”, explained Padungdetpasuton.

Furthermore, Myanmar is often referred to as the ‘next Vietnam’ in terms of feed production (especially pig and poultry feed). Corn production in the country jumped 483% from a USDA estimated 359,000 tonnes in 2000-2001 to a projected 2.1 million tonnes this year. Of the corn produced, 900,000 tonnes (40%) is exported each year.

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