Corporate News

Rice grower to set up farms in Cambodia and Myanmar

Posted on September 01, 2011

HYBRID RICE producer SL Agritech Corp. plans to set up a plantation in Cambodia via a joint venture instead of shipping out produce from its Philippine farms, a ranking official said last week.

“We are looking at starting the shipment of seeds to Cambodia and to start planting there in the fourth quarter,” SL Agritech President Henry Lim Bon Liong said in a telephone interview.

Under the joint venture, he said seeds will be given by SL Agritech to be used for the plantation, while its partner firm will provide the labor and land in Cambodia.

He said that for every produce sold there, SL Agritech will be paid with royalties.

The firm is focusing on international development this year with not much push from the Philippine government for hybrid rice, he said.

Apart from Cambodia, the firm is also reportedly looking at Myanmar as part of its international development program.

“We are in talks with a firm in Myanmar. We are studying what model we will do, if we will just export seeds to be sold there or if there could be a plantation there [for seed production],” he said.

SL Agritech hopes to finalize the discussions with the Myanmar-based firm before the end of the year.

This is on top of existing plantations for the development of hybrid seeds in Indonesia and Bangladesh.

He said the firm, which is also shipping hybrid seeds to Vietnam is planning to hike shipments there to 600 metric tons (MT) from the planned shipment of 300 MT this year.

“As the market becomes steady, we are looking at increasing the shipments [to Vietnam],” he said.

SL Agritech, a subsidiary of the Sterling Paper group of companies started in 1998 as an unincorporated researcher for hybrid rice. -- Louella D. Desiderio