This is custom heading element

Recently, we have made a trip to our subsidiary company, Sun-eee, in Cambodia for our new side business!

Farmlands around Sun-eee are small but the local farmers there own a few hectares of land. Rice is cultivated from May to December and the farmers usually work in the dry season. All farming types of equipment such as tractors are rented, inclusive of labour work, which is USD40-45/ha.

The local issue is that the rental fee is high, and the profit margin is low due to the soaring fuel price. The purchase price of food was not rising and many families have stopped growing rice for business and changed to eating the rice they produce for meals (as the variety and cultivation period of rice for sale compared to the rice for personal consumption are different). Another issue is that there is not enough water to use for agriculture and shortage of manpower because most of the family members are working elsewhere. We visited 3 farms and one farm has a farmer who cultivates bamboo and corn on a trial basis in addition to rice and was also interested in herb cultivation. When talked about trial cultivation, we were told that there is a land of 0.3-0.4ha near the Sun-eee office, so it is good for plantation.

We have started the trial cultivation of herbs using the land at Sun-eee’s headquarters and negotiated with the farmer who conducted the interview and asked them to divide the soil into planters. We planted six kinds of seeds brought from Singapore and started our trial cultivation. With the cooperation of Sun-eee’s staff, we intend to grow herbs and identify the types of herbs that are compatible with the local soil.

Interviews were conducted with the herbal businesses in Cambodia and we visited Roselle Stones Khmer, a brand that manufactures and sells herbal teas made from Cambodian ingredients. Interviewed the staff and visited the workshop. Herbs were purchased from one Cambodian full-time farmer and a group of 15 women. Rather than the newly cultivated herbs, we shall continue planting more of the original herbs as they are personally selected by the Cambodian farmers.

Our three (sales) targeted countries are Cambodia, Hong Kong, and Japan. We also found that most of the customers are foreign residents as local Cambodians prefer coffee to tea. Roselle (a herb tea company) sells to 15 places such as hotels and cafes (AEON Cambodia, Hotel Emion, etc.). In addition to their consignment sales, they also offer subscriptions to individuals.

There are also local events yearly and it is possible to exhibit there which is good as the number of local Cambodian customers is increasing year by year and since Cambodians have a high awareness of health from the beginning, we feel that future promotion is important. There are several other herb companies in Cambodia but rather than focusing on other competitors, I think we should brainstorm ideas to flourish our business.

As for the factory, it was only a workroom and work was done manually by 3-4 people a day and when I visited, they showed me how they do their QC work. The packaging materials used are smaller than expected and can be bought readily at the local market for 10 USD. About 1000 packs are packed per day. When we grow herbs in the future, it is possible to have them processed by OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturing). From drying to quality checking, and packaging. All are handmade and there is no MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity).

Central Market and Orussey Market are the main markets in Phnom Penh. We have surveyed the product prices, production areas, and manufacturers at Aeon Cambodia, which handles herbal products, and airports. Various local herbal teas are bought for our research too.

We also made use of our Remote Control Drone technology and conducted a remote control test flight around Sun-eee’s area with the cooperation of Singapore startup, Red Dot Drone. The drone’s operation from Singapore via the local communication line was successful as we flew for about 20 minutes and ran across Sun-eee’s office and the utility poles along the road. Drone’s camera images can also be shared via ZOOM. In the photo below, the upper side is the image of the drone camera shared by ZOOM, and the lower side is the situation of controlling the drone from Singapore. However, one of the problems that we have encountered is that the image quality will be affected due to the local communication situation (if you set the image quality to high quality, it will lag) but the drone team was also able to connect to ZOOM and get an idea of ​​what can be done by remote controlling.

Based on our research during this trip, we are still devising on how to proceed our new business in the future and we are very excited!

Posted on 26 April 2022

Privacy Preference Center