Thailand based Betagro Group has planned a series of investments in feed and livestock production in neighbouring countries to cash in on an economic boom expected after the establishment of the Asean Economic Community in 2015.
The company, one of Thailand's largest integrated agro-industry businesses, said its operations in Cambodia are taking shape as a 500-million-baht (€12.2m) animal feed plant is now 95% complete.
The plant, with an initial capacity to produce 12,000 tonnes a year of animal feed, is being built to supply Cambodia's livestock industry, including Betagro's swine operation in the country.
"We plan to farm the first lots of breeders next month. More will be added to meet the total 1,500 breeders capacity," said senior vice-president Narongchai Srisantisaeng of the company's swine operation.
The annual production of the feed plant, about 20 kilometres from Phnom Penh, will double to 24,000 tonnes over the next few years.
Betagro Cambodia Co also imports 3,500 tonnes of livestock feed a year from Thailand.
Expansion in Laos
Betagro Laos Co was formed to manage the company's livestock business in Laos. The plan is to build a breeding farm with the capacity to raise 1,000-1,200 swine breeders.
Betagro is also considering the opening of a representative branch in Yangon to explore business opportunities in Myanmar (Birma).
The company is not only expanding regionally, it is also strengthening operations in the northeast of Thailand. Its goal is to use that part of the country as a production base for supplying the AEC, a market of 600 million baht (€14.6 million).
Last week, Betagro officially opened a new pork-processing facility in Khon Kaen. The investment totalled 140 million baht (€3.4 million) and the facility has a capacity of 480 pigs per day. Another plant is planned in a lower northeast province.
Betagro has forecast about 3 billion baht (€7.33 million) of investment each year in livestock and food businesses.
The construction of a plant in Phatthalung province to process 40,000 chickens a day is nearly complete. A pig-processing plant was opened there last year and another is being considered for provinces on the Andaman coast.
Sales from regional and feed operations might reach 23 billion baht (€56.18 million) this year, about one-third of total sales.