Investing in Bamboo Shoots in Cambodia

For thousands of years, Bamboo Shoots have been an important staple food. Now, with food processing techniques bamboo shoots can be purchased year round by an Asia’s increasingly wealthy populations. Opportunities to supply this demand are very high in countries where bamboo grows well. The establishment of a bamboo shoots processing operation requires a suitable bamboo plantation area and partners to manage supply of raw shoots, know-how to the level of common vegetable processing already found in Cambodia, and capital investment upwards from US$35,000.

Product and Market

Bamboo shoots are young bamboo stems that provide a versatile vegetable food source rich in vitamins and minerals. Due to advances in technologies, processed or dried shoots are now available and popular all year round. Traditional peaks in shoots consumption was during the Lunar New Year (mostly dried shoots), while fresh shoots were consumed at the start of the shoot harvest season. Processed and packaged shoots either canned, pickled, spiced and dried now enable urban and richer consumers to buy and consume shoots at any time of the year.

The primary bamboo shoots markets are in Asia, while international markets are growing, with the global trade estimated at around USD1.5B, noting that domestic consumption is excluded from trade data. Domestic markets in Cambodia have been estimated at USD1M1 , with most of this consumption of traditional products. Opportunities for processed product increase with increased spending power of middle-class Cambodia. Production from Cambodia can compete as the raw material costs can be much lower than regional competitors.

1 OHK-IFC-MPDF 2006.

Processing Technology

Production lines can be established for boiled shoots or dried shoots products. The equipment and machinery is similar to that for food processing. Simple facilities with suitable electricity supply are needed.

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Equipment lines from Chinese supplies can be purchased for around $25,000 for a production line that can produce and package high quality boiled as well as dried product.

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 Dehukind marchine  Slicing marchine  Canning marchine

Financials

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Input costs represent around 50% of operating costs. Other costs the Cambodian context will be management (33%), factory labour (12%), depreciation (4%), other (1%). The wholesale price for quality product in the region for is $0.8/kg (boiled) and $4/kg (dried). A 3t/day factory can operate for 180-220days depending on species, providing revenue of around $200,000/year.

 Raw Material

There are limited bamboo resources presently. Fresh and semi-preserved shoots using traditional methods are applied to several local species. It is recommended that new plantation areas be developed with species optimum for target markets. These can be developed in cooperation with local authorities and farmers. A nominal start-up production using the above suggested production line could process around 1000t/yr and this would require 40-60ha of developed plantation area. New plantation begins significant shoot production after 3 years, with target shoot output of up to 40t/ha/yr.

Publications

Do you want to know more about exciting business opportunities in bamboo processing? Contact us at  bamboo@aha-kh.com .

Mr Torsten Münther (English)                Mr Khim HENG (Khmer and English)
Economic Development                          Advisor Value Chain Coordinator
Tel.: 012 272 139                                      Tel.: 089 59 56 68
torsten.muenther@giz.de                       khim.heng@giz.de

GIZ-Regional Economic Development Program (RED) Green Belt – Siem Reap Province

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Administrative City Siem Reap

P.O. Box 93221
17000 Siem Reap Angkor, Cambodia
Tel: (855)-063 76 03 04, Fax: (855)-063 76 19 31