Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon visited the Santana Agro Products Co Ltd (Santana) cashew nut growing and processing company in Chi Ok village, Romny commune, Rovieng district, Preah Vihear province on Saturday.
Sakhon said the company has invested in 850ha of cashew nut crops and is currently harvesting on 250ha, yielding between four and five tonnes per hectare. Cashew nut trees take three to five years before they start bearing fruit.
In 2017, Santana built a nut processing plant, which is capable of processing 10 tonnes of cashew nuts per day.
Sakhon said: “Presently, the company exports cashew nuts to the Chinese market, which is the largest. They are followed by Europe and South Korea.”
The company plans to expand by 1,000ha in the future, with the goal to produce 10,500 tonnes of fresh cashew nuts per year and export 3,000 tonnes of the product, he said.
Var Roth San, a cashew nut farmer in Cheung Prey district, Kampong Cham province, told The Post on Sunday that prices have dropped significantly since the Covid-19 outbreak.
Cashew nut prices currently sit between 4,000 and 5,000 riel ($1 and $1.25) per kilogramme, about 1,000 riel per kilogramme lower than the same time last year.
He said: “The Covid-19 disease problem has caused the cashew nut price to fall this year because Vietnamese traders don’t dare travel across the border to buy from farmers anymore.”
The cashew nut harvesting season ended last week, Roth San said, so farmers will have to wait another year to make a profit.
Sakhon said cashew nut farmers can earn $2,000 per hectare depending on the quality of the crop and the needs of the market.
Cambodia’s cashew nut exports reached 121,976 tonnes in the first three months of this year, down 7.18 per cent from 131,425 tonnes in the same period last year, said a report from the ministry.
The Kingdom exported about 202,318 tonnes of cashew nuts last year to overseas markets, up nearly 100 per cent from 2018.
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.