Country Profiles

Cattle marketing and trade system

In Cambodia, cattle production is based on mixed crop-livestock systems smallholders. The commercial market chain for cattle in Cambodia has been operating for only about 15 years.

Due to the difference in market size and demand, market chains at provincial markets are different from the Phnom Penh markets. For the Phnom Penh markets, cattle comes through all stages of the market chain from smallholders, collectors, traders, slaughterhouse, wholesalers, retailers and consumers (Figure 3). In provincial markets there is wholesaler stage so after slaughter beef goes directly from retailers to consumers.

Marketing at the commune/village level is conducted by cattle collectors who often live in the same village as cattle smallholders. Transactions are in cash based on visual estimates of meat yield of the cattle. Traders often buy 1-5 cattle per month, and their profit is based greatly on their knowledge and experience in buying cattle from farmers.

There are different levels of cattle traders in Cambodia. All traders who buy and sell cattle and cattle products in Cambodia are required to pay certain taxes and fees to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF). These fees must be paid on a per-head basis in order for the trader to be issued with a movement permit from District Office of AHP. Small traders often travel between communes and districts, and have a network of collectors at village level. Each small cattle trader deals with 5 to 10 cattle collectors. In practice, small traders don’t get a cattle movement permit, but a certificate of ownership is issued by village head or commune leader. They buy and sell 15-20 head per month, and pay cash to collectors after reaching an agreement.

Figure 3: Cattle market chain in Cambodia. 

Source: adapted from Muniroth et al.(2014)

Medium-sized inter-provincial traders are also required a cattle movement permit from DAHP to trade cattle across a provincial border or transport cattle to Phnom Penh. They rely on a network of 5-10 small traders but regularly buy cattle directly from collectors. On average, inter-provincial traders trade 60-100 head per month.

Large traders are required to apply for a quarterly license from the MAFF to conduct inter-provincial or cross-border movement of cattle. The license limits trading to a maximum quota of 1,000 cattle/buffaloes per quarter. Most of the traders involved with the transit of cattle from Thailand/Myanmar to Vietnam or in the export of local cattle from Cambodia to Vietnam will purchase a movement permit from large livestock trading companies instead of DAHP. These trading companies are highly influential through high level connections with the Ministerial level and thus offer some protection for traders operating under their system.

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