Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Japan’s TPJ to set up two cashew nut plants

Japan’s TPJ to set up two cashew nut plants

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodia exported 194,525 tonnes of cashew nuts in the first seven months of last year. Heng Chivoan

Japan’s TPJ to set up two cashew nut plants

Japanese-owned company “TPJ” plans to spend an unspecified amount to build two large-scale cashew nut processing plants in Kampong Thom and Kampong Cham provinces in 2022-2025 aims to increase exports to Japan and other markets, according to Cashew nut Association of Cambodia (CAC) president Uon Silot.

Silot told The Post on January 13 that TPJ – presumably Top Planning Japan Co Ltd – had received approval from its parent company in Japan to build the plants back in 2020, after completing studies on the proposed locations, each of which covered an area of 6ha.

But then Covid-19 hit, putting a wrench into plans, he said.

The two neighbouring provinces were likely chosen due to the large area under cashew nut cultivation, which could provide an easy source of seeds for the plant, he speculated.

“I’ve already prepared the site for construction, but because of Covid-19, that’s been suspended. Once the pandemic eases, the company may break ground this year or next,” he said, adding that the firm plans to process 20,000 tonnes of cashew nuts annually, at each factory, for export to Japan.

While Cambodia once again ranked among the top cashew nut exporting countries last year, the overwhelming majority of exports comprised shipments of raw seeds to Vietnam, weighing in at 1.1 million tonnes, according to Silot.

Although 40,000 tonnes of finished cashew nuts would hardly put a dent in global demand, he suggested that the facilities could encourage development in the Kingdom’s emerging value-added processing sector.

“Our cashew nut association’s goal is not to export raw nuts, if we do so we’ll lose out. We’d lose out on value-added options for farmers first of all, and secondly, we’d lose labour in the community.

“With a factory in the country, we could help farmers and reduce the number of outbound migrant workers,” Silot said.

In Lai Huot, owner of the Kampong Thom-based cashew nut processing business Chey Sambor, explained that the Cambodian cashew nut export market is improving, with numerous companies looking to place orders, especially those from Japan.

She eagerly told The Post that her enterprise over the next couple of years would seek to co-invest in factories or other projects that could expand that market.

“As far as I know, TPJ does plan to set up those large factories in Cambodia over 2022-2025. The company has not placed any major orders with us as of late, although maybe we can team up next year to export cashew nuts,” she said.

She surmised that the main underlying motives behind the factories was to lend a hand to build the reputation of Cambodian cashew nuts on the international stage, help farmers lead a better life, and provide job opportunities for locals to curb migration.

The CAC’s Silot said there are “nearly 10” cashew nut processing plants online in the Kingdom, paling in comparison to Vietnam’s “more than 100”.

He said he has asked the relevant officials to streamline investment application procedures to make it easier for foreign investors to set up new cashew nut processing plants, to scale up exports and generate employment opportunities for locals, thereby reducing the number of migrant workers.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has given the green light for anyone who contracts the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron mutation or any other variant to convalesce or receive treatment at home or in any other reasonable non-healthcare setting. The new decision supersedes a restriction on home care for

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa