Chaired by Prime Minister Hun Sen on January 13, the plenary meeting of the Council of Ministers approved the draft “National Policy on Cashew Nuts for 2022-2027” to develop inclusively competitive production and processing as well as ensure economic sustainability and diversification.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said cashew is an agro-industrial crop and one of the government’s 12 priority crops. The government has been focusing on increasing the productivity, quality and competitiveness of the cash crop so that it could command a higher price.

He added that at present most cashews are exported as unprocessed products, which brought low value-added. In order to continue to boost the growth of competitive agribusiness with high quality and safe products, the introduction of the national policy on cashews is necessary and in line with other policies and strategic frameworks to ensure competitive advantage in local, regional and global markets.

He continued that the draft national policy on cashews was prepared through field research on processing and with exporters, consultative workshops, as well as input from relevant ministries, institutions, development partners and the private sector on all activities in line with value chains. The policy also highlights the duties and responsibilities of all relevant actors to ensure that the implementation is effective.

Ky Sereyvath, an economics researcher at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the policy is a step in the right direction, suggesting that there should be a national policy for all agricultural crops to boost exports.

He added that the cashew policy consists of a strategy to boost the market and help farmers' production and notably to expand the processing of cashew nuts for export and increase the value added to the national economy, which would also create jobs in the process.

“This policy is a new approach by Cambodia, especially as the government is stimulating sustainable growth in production and the economy,” he said.