Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kingdom’s cashew deal with VN could be hard to crack: insiders

Kingdom’s cashew deal with VN could be hard to crack: insiders

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A worker picks cashew nuts in Kampong Cham province.

Kingdom’s cashew deal with VN could be hard to crack: insiders

The Kingdom’s cashew nut industry is still struggling to maintain a stable market as community representatives say relying on local brokers is hurting farmers.

Cashew Nut Association director in Kampong Thom province Chhiv Ngy said on Monday that the body is still searching for reliable buyers to ensure stable prices.

The price, he said, currently fluctuates from broker to broker and that many were buying at around $2.50 per kg.

“The current price doesn’t mean we are suffering a loss, but it we don’t make much when the price depends on local brokers. We don’t have money on hand to stock the cashew nuts,” he said.

The association has held discussions with over 30 companies this year – from China, Korea, the US, Japan, Germany and India, but hasn’t been able to ink any deals thus far.

Cambodia and Vietnam signed an agreement earlier this year to greatly expand the Kingdom’s cashew exports by 2028, though no concrete plan has emerged to meet the target.

The Ministry of Agriculture and the Vietnamese Cashew Association (Vinacas) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to increase Cambodia’s exports to one million tonnes by 2028.

Exports stood at just 73,000 tonnes last year. Vinacas also gave the ministry a $66,000 grant to increase production.

The ministry’s director-general at the general directorate of agriculture Hean Vanhan said officials were studying farming methods in Vietnam, but planting in the Kingdom hasn’t begun as yet.

“The MoU with Vietnam is the first step in the process. The ministry is examining processing factories in order to add higher value to the product rather than exporting raw materials,” he said.

Recent data from the ministry showed that yields of raw cashews were generally one tonne per hectare in the Kingdom.

At that rate, around one million hectares of land – roughly the size of Ratanakkiri province – would need to be cultivated to meet the terms of the MoU.

Specialized Cambodian Produce factory manager Tep Lyhean who has had discussions with the cashew association, claimed it was hard to meet contract farming conditions as prices on the international market fluctuated.

Additionally, she said ensuring a quality product from farmers was difficult.

“We prefer to buy cashews directly from farmers rather than the association as the price is more affordable."

“We need to ensure the price and the quality of cashews as we have to compete on the international market, so it is hard to do contract farming,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting