News last update:6 Aug 2012

Betagro expands to Cambodia and Laos

Betagro, one of Thailand's leading integrated agro-industry businesses, is for the first time setting up integrated farm systems outside Thailand.

The first initiative is to build a 160-milion baht (€3.4 million) pig farm in both Cambodia and Laos, with a production capacity of 2,000 parent pigs.

Further in Cambodia Betagro is to set up a feed plant to supply 72,000 tons of feed per year to serve its local livestock industry.

Narongchai Srisantisaeng, Betagro's SVP regional and feed business, said that that these are the "first foreign investments" for the 41-year- old agro-industry group.

Foreign subsidiaries
He said that the company's feed business has expanded into Cambodia in the past three years, with distribution handled by local agents.

The fast growth led the group to decide to set up a company named Betagro (Cambodia) to cover sales and marketing for a new brand call Bio, while existing brands will remain with local agents.

Betagro exports 2,000 tonnes a month of animal feed products to the Cambodia market. As that figure is set to grow to 4,000 tonnes, Betagro will build a plant in the country with production capacity of 6,000 tonnes.

"However, we will start a 2,000-pig breeding farm in Cambodia next year before beginning the factory construction," Narongchai said.

He said the company would start a breeding farm, also with 2,000 pigs, in Laos at the same time. But it has no plans to build a plant because Laos has a smaller population than Cambodia and lower consumption.

New feed plant in Thailand
The company is also considering investing around Bt1 billion (€21.4 million) for a new animal-feed plant in Phetchaburi province within three years if the global economy picks up, said Narongchai Srisantisaeng, senior vice president for regional and feed business.

The plant would have a capacity of 30,000 tonnes per month.

Betagro Group currently operates eight animal-feed production plants nationwide. The ratio of production for internal use to commercial production is 60:40.

New feed brands
As part of the company's more aggressive marketing strategy for next year, Narongchai said the company had allocated a budget of Bt100 million to launch three new commercial feed products for pets, both livestock and aquatic animals. These include Okane for fish, Primo for dogs, and Rambo for fighting cocks.

The group believes the pet-feed market has high potential for growth.

The new products will serve the high end of the market and will appear on shelves next month. First-year annual sales are expected to top Bt140 million (€3 million).

Narongchai said Betagro had a 20% share in Thailand's commercial animal-feed market, representing about 65,000 tonnes per month.

This year the sales of commercial feed products is expected to post Bt11 billion (€236 million), up by 10% from last year. He expects another 10% increase for next year.

Editor AllAboutFeed

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