Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Women in agriculture: High demand for cashew nuts means greater opportunities

Women in agriculture: High demand for cashew nuts means greater opportunities

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Women in agriculture: High demand for cashew nuts means greater opportunities

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Cashew nuts are consistently in high demand in both the domestic and overseas markets. According to figures from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, in the first five months of last year, Cambodia exported 801,732 tonnes of cashew nuts to foreign markets including Vietnam, Thailand, China, India, Japan and the UAE.

Sensing an opportunity as well as seeing increasing demand, 28-year-old Him Sideoun, the owner of a cashew farm in Kampong Thom province, shared her experiences on what it is like to own and run a cashew nut business.

Tell us about yourself and describe your business?

I have long had the ambition to be a successful agricultural business entrepreneur, with my husband and I first getting into agriculture with one hectare of land for dry-season paddy rice.

The business was doing well, and we expanded our land to 10 hectares, until a lack of water supply made us experience some difficulties and postpone our business for a while. In 2017, there was a rising demand for cashew nuts in our province, Kampong Thom, which grabbed our attention, and opportunities arose for us in the cashew nut business.

What were the main factors behind you turning your attention to the cashew nut business?

We first got into the cashew nut business due to the opportunities from the high demand in both the domestic and overseas markets. A sharing session from the Cashew Nut Association of Cambodia aroused our interest, and we started to look into the cashew nut business and understand more about it.

Cashew nuts don’t need as much attention as other plants or crops – in the early stages, it requires full attention to regular watering and fertilising. But once the plant is mature enough, we only need to take care of it three times during its season.

After a few years, our cashew nut yields increased from four tonnes to 20 tonnes on our 10 hectares of land, with the average price 5,000 riel per kilogram based on the purchase season.

As it is highly in demand, the market for cashew nut is on your doorstep – there will be a large factory coming to regularly collect from your farm for domestic and international supply.

In the last few years of growing cashew nuts, we have expanded our land to almost 20 hectares – and demand is still growing rapidly.

What challenges have you encountered?

Pests and insects are our main concern, but we believe this is also a concern for most agri-businesses. To deal with it, we had to learn about the growing process and understand more about cashew plants, as well as about fertilisers and pesticides. For example, experimenting with different types of fertiliser for use on my plants to bring high yields.

And then you have to regularly spend on fertiliser, manure and pesticides throughout the growing process. Cash flow is one of the concerns during this process, and we luckily received support from our family besides Amret providing us with their flexible working capital loan for our expansion needs.

Without reliable support and effective cash flow management, it is difficult to maintain a business.

As a woman entrepreneur, what advice do you have for female agri-business owners looking to expand?

Running a business takes effort and commitment. Do not be afraid to get your hands dirty and step outside your area to explore the wider world of agriculture.

Fluctuations in demand may be different each year, but business success doesn’t come overnight. Don’t lose hope – patience and effort every day can lead to a fruitful future.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post


  • Five-year-old Hanuman dances his way into hearts of Cambodia

    A young talent from a new-established settlement has emerged, captivating the online world with his mesmerising performances of the traditional Cambodian monkey dance. Roeun Kakada is a five-year-old prodigy who has taken the social media sphere by storm with his exceptional dance skills and dedication

  • Fresh Covid warnings as Thai hospital fills

    A senior health official reminds the public to remain vigilant, as neighbouring countries experience an increase in Covid-19 cases, with the latest surge appearing to be a result of the Omicron XBB.1.5 sub-variant. Or Vandine, secretary of state and spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health,

  • Honda shutters Siem Reap football club

    Japanese football legend Keisuke Honda, the owner of Siem Reap football club Soltilo Angkor FC, has been forced to shut the club down, after it failed to attract sponsorship for the upcoming season. Honda, the former manager of the Cambodia men's national football team, said

  • Hun Sen warns of regional tensions

    ASIA is becoming a dangerous geopolitical hotspot, with several countries announcing that they intend to send naval vessels towards Southeast Asia and on to the South China Sea, warned Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Heated geopolitical issues can easily escalate, namely to war. I am not

  • PM declares ASEAN Para Games open

    The 12th ASEAN Para Games officially kicked off on the evening of June 3 at Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh, with a spectacular opening ceremony featuring fireworks and performances by some of the Kingdom’s most accomplished talents. Tens of thousands of sports fans

  • Waterway job still pending for Kampot tourism port’s opening

    The search is still on for a contractor to expand and deepen the Kampot International Tourism Port’s waterway and deliver additional enhancements allowing safe access for larger vessels, nearly a year after the main construction work on the 4.25ha site was completed on June 30, 2022.