Cambodia exported some 202,318 tonnes of cashew nuts last year to foreign markets, up nearly 100 per cent from 2018’s 101,973 tonnes, a Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries report said.
Khan Samban, director of the ministry’s Department of Agro-Industry, told The Post that the strong growth in exports is due to the ministry’s simplification of export procedure and the commodity’s improved standards.
“Our cashew nuts have a good taste and quality, so we’ve received increased demand from foreign countries,” Samban said.
He said he expects cashew nut prices to fall to around 5,000 or 6,000 riel ($1.23 or $1.48) per kilogramme in the early harvest season this year. “Cashew nut yield will increase this year due to an increase in cultivation.”
The report said Cambodia’s main cashew nut export destinations are Vietnam, Russia, South Korea, China, Peru, Myanmar, India, Australia, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia.
The area allotted to cashew nut cultivation totals 149,660ha, spanning 22 provinces. Almost 60 per cent is harvested land, which yielded 116,343 tonnes in 2018, data from the ministry shows.
In 2018, the ministry signed a memorandum of understanding with Vietnamese Cashew Association (Vinacas) to increase Cambodia’s cashew nut exports to one million tonnes by 2028.
This came after Vinacas provided the ministry with a 1.5 billion dong ($66,000) grant in December 2017 to grow one million cashew trees on a total area of 500,000ha from then through 2022, Viet Nam News reported.
“Cambodia is one of the few countries in the world that has excellent natural conditions for growing cashew,” Viet Nam News quoted Vinacas chairman Nguyen Duc Thanh as saying.
The Kingdom can produce one tonne of raw cashew nuts per hectare of cultivated land while Vietnam can yield more than two tonnes.
In 2018, the Switzerland-backed NGO, Heks/Eper, announced the launch of a five-year, $7.8 million development project for cashew nuts in Cambodia to improve the livelihood of rural families.
The project, which will be implemented between 2018 and 2022, is expected to boost food security, income and land management for poor communities.
It is set to be implemented in seven provinces – Pursat, Kampong Chhnang, Prey Veng, Tbong Khmum, Kratie, Mondulkiri and Stung Treng.