The Ministry of Commerce has set up a technical-working group to study and compile the Kingdom’s draft cashew nut policy in an effort to promote its production and export, it said in a press release on Tuesday.
The working group comprises thirteen members, including representatives from the ministry and several NGOs.
“The working group is tasked with facilitating meetings and the planning and drafting of an updated advisory report on cashew nut production.
“Operating as a consultation workshop, it will research, develop and cooperate with relevant stakeholders and development partners in order to establish Cambodia’s cashew nut policy,” said the ministry.
Kampong Thom provincial Department of Agriculture’s agro-industry bureau director Hong Seng Hak lauded the ministry’s move.
He told The Post on Wednesday that a cashew nut policy will help to improve its supply chain. “I think it’s a positive step. It will provide technical assistance and help attract more investors.”
Earlier this month, Seng Hak said, a cashew nut farmer in the province was selling the crop at between 4,000 and 6,000 riel ($1 to $1.50) per kilogramme.
“The cashew plant is very important to our people in Kampong Thom – as important as the rubber and cassava plant.
“I expect that the price of cashew nuts will be stable this year,” he said.
He said cashew nut is harvested over 78,000ha in Kampong Thom province. “The cashew nut yield on average is one to two tonnes per hectare.”
Cambodia exported some 202,318 tonnes of cashew nuts last year to foreign markets, up nearly 100 per cent from 2018’s 101,973 tonnes, a Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries report said.
Khan Samban, director of the ministry’s Department of Agro-industry, told The Post last month that the strong growth in exports is due to the ministry’s simplification of export procedures and the commodity’s improved standards.
“Our cashew nuts have a good taste and quality, so we’ve received increased demand from foreign countries,” Samban said.
He said he expects cashew nut prices to be around 5,000 or 6,000 riel per kilogramme in the early harvest season this year.
“Cashew nut yield will increase this year due to an increase in cultivation.”
The report said Cambodia’s main cashew nut export destinations are Vietnam, Russia, South Korea, China, Peru, Myanmar, India, Australia, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia.
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.