Hun Lak, the director of Longmate Agriculture, is very optimistic about the banana investment prospects in Cambodia following his company’s recently-launched packaging facility in Kampot province. This facility which will aid the export of 120 tons of bananas to the Chinese market.
Longmate Agriculture was established in late 2017 and it is a joint venture investment involving a group of successful banana plantation companies in China, Hong Kong and Cambodia. The group collaboration has a combined 20 years of experience with regard to banana plantation. Stake ownership is divided in the joint venture business. The Cambodian side is responsible for business operations, whereas our foreign partners are in charge over technicalities in the supply chain. To put it simply, they oversee the sowing of seeds, organic fertilization, the plantation, keeping plantation beds clean and harvesting managements.
The investment, which was approved by the Council for the Development of Cambodia last year, sits on 1,000 hectares of land located in Chhuk district, Kampot province. The capital investment is about 32 million dollars. Longmate Agriculture planted yellow bananas on over 400 hectares of land and so far, the plantation has run for 15 months. This year, they expect to send 22,000 tons of fresh bananas to the Chinese market, and expand to 33,000 tons a year by 2020.
About 120 tons of fresh bananas, equivalent to six containers, have been packed at the packaging house facility in Kampot province and was loaded onto the ship on May 11 ready to be sent to China. It would take about 10 days to get to the destination, namely: Dalain, Shanghai and Shenzhen cities in China. The banana shipment to the market will pass Sihanoukville Autonomous Port and Phnom Penh Autonomous Port. If the Sihanoukville port is busy, it will go through the Phnom Penh port instead.
Longmate Agriculture tested a banana shipment to the Chinese market during the first quarter of this year. About 100 containers were sent, to figure out the challenges with regard to market issues and transportation. Today, the bananas are officially accredited as a Cambodian-made product ready to be exported to China directly. Also, these bananas are recognized for their high quality and adhering to international standards. The banana seeds used are known as Musa Supientum or Cavendish, are from China and Australia, and its taste is widely recognized around the globe.