Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cashew nut turns to rubber

Cashew nut turns to rubber

Cashew nut turns to rubber

Sok Vuthy, 60, was one of the first cashew-nut farmers in the province. Now he has started to grow rubber trees.

NOBODY knows more about cashew nuts than Sok Vuthy. The 60-year-old from Kandal province first came to Banlung in 1995. Back then, nobody grew cashew trees in the northeastern province. Now it seems that every farmer has at least one on their land. Sok Vuthy established the trend.

“I came to  Ratanakkiri because the province has good soil,” he says. “The following year I decided to set up a plantation.”

It helped that land was very cheap at that time, so it was relatively easy to establish his plantation.

“At first, growing cashews needed little capital,” he says. “We just bought the seed, cleared the land and planted it.”

His business has proved so successful that together with his brother and sister, Sok Vuthy owns 150 to 160 hectares of cashew trees. He employs 20 workers all year round, hiring a further 70 to 80 seasonal employes during the picking season from mid-February to mid-March.

Recently Sok Vuthy has followed the growing trend of turning towards rubber. However, in his case he did not turn his back on the cashew nut, choosing instead to borrow US$80,000 from ACLEDA Bank to plant 100 hectares of rubber trees.

“I could see that rubber is more profitable than cashew nuts,” he says. “If I did not borrow money from ACLEDA Bank I could not expand my business, as I did not have the capital.”

Although he has not yet finished paying off his original loan, Sok Vuthy is already considering a further loan in order to establish a rubber processing plant. In the meantime he is waiting for the first of his rubber trees to mature, which should be in October this year. Then he will decide whether to apply for an additional loan or not, although you sense his mind is already set. “If they give me money, I will be very happy,” he says. “I want to expand.” TRANSLATION BY RANN REUY


  • Professor beaten by mob in Phnom Penh after alleged hit-and-run

    Updated with new information: 6:44am, Tuesday March 13 2018 A university professor accused of a hit-and-run has been transported to Vietnam with serious head injuries after he was brutally beaten by a mob in Phnom Penh late Sunday afternoon. A video of the attack shows a group

  • American ‘fugitive’ arrested in Cambodia outside of US Embassy

    An American citizen was arrested on request by the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, according to Cambodian police. Major General Uk Hei Sela, chief of investigations at the Department of Immigration, identified the man as American Jan Sterling Hagen, and said he was

  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of

  • One Australian, one Cambodian killed in explosion at military base

    Updated: 5:20pm, Friday 16 March 2018 An Australian tourist and a Cambodian soldier were killed in an explosion on Thursday afternoon at an army base in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. The Australian, whom the government initially identified as a technical demining expert in his 40s, and