Milling capacity

Cambodia does not have the capacity to mill its annual paddy production. Most rice mills have a very small production capacity, despite increasing investments in rice mills. This is why a considerable part of Cambodian paddy is exported (informally) to Viet Nam and Thailand. Reasons for the limited milling capacity include: 

- Very few rice mills in Cambodia are able to process more than 2.5 tons per hour which restricts the country overall ability to cope with the farmers’ increasing paddy supply (Slayton 2009); 

- Rice millers are typically short in capital and face high credit costs which restricts their ability to provide sufficient paddy at the main harvest time (November/December) to operate their mill for longer than a few months; 

- Antiquated milling technologies of most Cambodian rice mills cause high processing costs and output losses which prevent these millers from paying paddy prices to farmers comparable to those offered by Thai and Vietnamese traders respectively millers. Recovery rates (about 63% of paddy) of Cambodian rice mill are among the lowest in Southeast Asia, additional output losses are caused through high percentages of broken rice. Furthermore, high energy costs --most rice mills are fuelled with diesel-- create a further burden on milling costs.

In the past, almost all milled rice produced by Cambodian mills had been marketed locally. Even larger mills had been unable to supply international markets due to a number of reasons such as antiquated technology (that produces high quantities of broken rice at milling costs internationally not competitive), high domestic transportation and exportation costs. Angkor Kasekam who produces high-quality Neang Malis rice under a system of contract farming had been for years Cambodia’s only rice mill that constantly supplied international markets (especially France) but with very limited quantities. 

However, in recent years some Cambodian rice millers, a few of them with international partners, made considerable efforts either in improving existing rice mills or establishing new rice mills. The most prominent examples are Green Trade, Baitang Kampuchea and Golden Rice (Table 11). Some of these millers apply latest technology from Japan or Taiwan and focus on overseas market, especially Europe where Cambodia enjoys tariff-free market access under the Everything-but-Arms Agreement (EBA) since September 2009. First shipments have been made over the past months to countries such as France, Poland and Lithuania and much larger exports are expected for the years to come. 

Table 11. The largest rice mills in Cambodia

Rice mill
(Province)

Milling capacity (tons/hour of paddy)

Paddy processed in 2009
(tons)

Technology / Equipment

Export experience

Golden Rice
(Kompong Speu)

15 tons

..

 ..

 ..

Ying& Yang Rice Head Quarterz Co. Ltd (Sihanoukville)

13 tons

..

 ..

 ..

Vin Cheang Rice Mill Co.Ltd. (Kampong Cham)

12 tons

500-600 tons

Dryer, polisher, color sorter, broken sorter.

No, but plans to export soon.

Angkor Kasekam Roongroeung Co., Ltd. (AKR)
(Kandal)

10 tons

20,000 tons

Utilizes color sorters, and burns the rice husk using co-generation technology.

Exports especially to France.

Green Trade
(Phnom Penh)

10 tons

..

Six mills (one of which with Satake technology), comprehensive modernization in 2009.

Exports to various markets; joint-venture with Vietnamese for large-scale exports.

QC Rice Co. Ltd (Kampong Cham)

10 tons

2,000 tons

Old equipment, now comprehensive modernization.
Dryer, stone sorter, color sorter, polisher, broken sorter.

Exports to France, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Switzerland
(via agent).

Baitang Kampuchea Plc. (Battambang)

30 tons
(planned for 2011)

In 2009
not yet operating

Latest technology from Japan (Satake) and Taiwan, from cleaner to packager.

Exports to Germany, Australia, France and Italy.

  • Thursday, 25 August 2011