Dutch animal nutrition firm starts manufacturing in Thilawa

The Netherlands-based producer of animal feed and nutritional service specialist, Trouw Nutrition, opened its first manufacturing unit in Myanmar last week.

Trouw Nutrition Myanmar Co was incorporated at Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in July 2017. The manufacturing plant, located in Zone A, is expected to start operation in two weeks.

Thilawa is the only SEZ in operation in the country, whereas Kyaukphyu SEZ in Rakhine State and Dawei SEZ in Tanintharyi Region are in the planning stage.

The Thilawa facility is part of Trouw Nutrition’s €5 million (US$6.16 million) investment in Myanmar. The plant, employing 15 people, manufactures animal nutrition products, including premix, basemix, feed additives and animal healthcare products as well as farm mineral products. The annual capacity is 5,000 metric tonnes for premix and basemix.

“The [Thilawa] plant primarily caters to consumption in the Myanmar population, but we [also] have opportunities to export to other ASEAN markets,” said Ramakanta Nayak, general manager at Trouw in charge of Myanmar operations. Based near Yangon, the firm is confident that goods can be delivered within a short period of lead time and products can be tailored to the client needs, making it competitive against imported products.

Agriculture is the backbone of Myanmar’s economy, contributing 37.8pc of GDP and employing 70pc of the labour force, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation. But the sector is still very underdeveloped compared to neighbouring countries, and farmers lack the access to finance and human resources to modernise their production. By placing the emphasis on the domestic animal protein market, the Netherlands-based firm seeks to leverage its innovation and expertise to support farmers and feed millers to increase their productivity and quality.

Trouw Nutrition’s products come under brands like NutriOpt, Maxcare, LifeStart, Sprayfo, Milkiwean, Selko, Farm-O-San and Milkivit.

“We intend to work closely with poultry and swine farmers using our technology, especially the small household farmers, to train them on how to increase their livelihood in Myanmar,” the company said.

Haiko Zuidhoff, managing director of Cluster Asia within Trouw Nutrition, told The Myanmar Times that they chose Thilawa SEZ as their investment destination in the country because of investment incentives and efficiency.

“Thilawa SEZ gave us an easy entry into Myanmar with its existing infrastructure and with a quick commissioning. From the decision [to invest and construct] to commissioning [of the plant], it took us one year,” Mr Zuidhoff explained.

The nutrition firm is keen to stress that the Thilawa plant is only part of a longer-term commitment in the country. Mr Zuidhoff said that the next investment location will not be in the SEZ and will likely to be in northern Myanmar.

Thilawa investment is Trouw Nutrition’s sixth manufacturing plant in Asia. The company is active in ASEAN, with a presence in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Founded in 1931, Trouw Nutrition is a leading business in feed specialties, premixes and nutritional services for the animal nutrition industry across the entire supply chain. Trouw Nutrition belongs to Nutreco, a Dutch producer of a range of nutritional products for poultry, pigs, ruminants, companion animals, and other livestock animals, as well as for fish and shrimp worldwide.

Source: Myanmar Times

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