Home » Thriving Amidst Challenges: Cambodia’s Dairy Industry Grows with Promise

Thriving Amidst Challenges: Cambodia’s Dairy Industry Grows with Promise

by Surya Narayan
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Cambodia’s dairy industry is on a steady rise, showcasing remarkable growth in recent years. Despite facing challenges such as high production costs, low consumer awareness, and limited government support, the industry is making significant strides, driven by the enthusiasm of local dairy farmers and the introduction of modern technology.

The Cambodian Brown Cow

At the heart of this burgeoning industry is the Cambodian Brown Cow, a breed known for its high milk yield and docile temperament. With approximately 80,000 cows in the country, these hardworking animals form the backbone of family-run dairy operations, showcasing the dedication and commitment of local farmers.

Key Players

Three major dairy farms—Kirisu Farm, Moo Moo Farms, and Techo Sen Russey Treb Milk—stand out in Cambodia’s dairy landscape. Kirisu Farm, the largest and newest entrant, boasts over 500 cows and a daily milk production of up to 12,000 liters. Moo Moo Farms, the pioneer in Cambodia’s dairy sector, produces around 2,000 liters daily with its 200 cows. Techo Sen Russey Treb Milk, a social enterprise, supports small-scale farmers and contributes to the industry with its 100 cows and a daily output of approximately 1,000 liters.

Market Dynamics

While the exact market share of these farms is not clear, they face a competitive environment, particularly from imported dairy products that currently represent over 90% of domestic consumption. The demand for dairy is growing, especially among urban consumers and young children, providing ample opportunities for local farms to expand their market share and enhance profitability.

Import Trends

In 2021, Cambodia imported $60.4 million worth of milk, making it the 30th largest global importer. Thailand emerged as the primary supplier, followed by Australia, Poland, New Zealand, and France. Despite substantial imports, the local industry is resilient and determined to meet the rising demand for dairy products.

Export Potential

Cambodia, despite being a modest player in the dairy sector, made significant strides in 2020 by exporting milk worth $39,000. Germany stands out as a key destination for Cambodian dairy exports, showcasing the country’s potential to contribute to the global market.

International Trade

The United States, recognizing Cambodia’s potential, imported dairy products, eggs, honey, and other edible items worth US$1.61 million in 2022. This bilateral trade reflects the increasing recognition of Cambodian dairy products on the international stage.

Cambodia’s dairy industry is a tale of perseverance and growth. Despite facing challenges and the dominance of imported products, local farms are making commendable efforts to meet the growing demand. With the support of consumers, government initiatives, and continued advancements in technology, Cambodia’s dairy industry is poised to thrive, contributing not only to domestic consumption but also making its mark on the global dairy market. As the industry continues to evolve, there is a promising future ahead for Cambodian dairy, with the potential to become a key player in the international dairy trade.

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