More than 500 insiders from the cashew industry worldwide will convene at the 10th World Cashew Conference in Cambodia next year. The gathering will take place from February 1-3 in Siem Reap province, as announced by the Cashew Nut Association of Cambodia (CAC).

Reach Ra, the secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce, announced the upcoming event during a press and study visit on November 29, organised by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Ministry of Commerce and the EU.

The press tour, which focused on Cambodia’s cashew production chain, served as the platform for revealing plans for the upcoming conference. The collaboration involves the ministry, the Cambodia Cashew Federation (CCF) and a private company.

“The programme is designed to increase awareness of the potential of cashew nuts among the general public, traders and businesspeople, both locally and internationally. It seeks to draw business partners, buyers, investors and exporters, thus enhancing competitiveness and promoting resilient and inclusive economic growth,” Ra explained.

During the event, vice-president of the CAC Suy Kokthean noted that the group had previously attended the World Cashew Conference in February 2023, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. 

He said the event was an opportunity for the organisation to showcase the potential of Cambodian cashews to a global audience.

“At the conference, CAC explored markets for processed nuts in the Arab, European and US markets. So, in this conference, it’s the same; we expect to find new investment partners to boost processing for export, rather than exporting raw cashew nuts to Vietnam,” he stated.

Kokthean noted that Cambodia is the second-largest cashew producer, following Ivory Coast in Africa. However, he emphasised that the quality of Cambodia’s cashew nuts is superior, a crucial factor motivating relevant ministries and institutions to enhance processing through production lines for added value.

“We want to turn Kampong Thom into Cambodia’s largest agro-industrial province for cashew crops, as it is currently the largest cashew-growing province,” he said.

Spokesperson for the agriculture ministry Im Rachna stated that the ministry and the CAC, in cooperation with the Kampong Thom provincial administration, will hold a National Cashew Forum from December 6-7. She stated that the forum is a prelude to the World Cashew Conference in early February. 

The press and study visit, sponsored by the EU and involving collaboration between the agriculture and commerce ministries, aims to showcase the country’s cashew production chain and expand the sector’s potential. 

“We expect the visit to provide a comprehensive understanding of the agriculture ministry’s efforts to promote production, aligning with the National Cashew Policy 2022-2027, issued by the commerce ministry. It’s also part of our preparation for the upcoming World Cashew Conference,” she said.

The CAC reported that in the first 10 months of 2023, the Kingdom produced 651,000 tonnes of raw cashew nuts. Of these, 615,000 tonnes, worth $831 million, were exported to Vietnam, marking a 16.7% decrease from the same period in 2022. The average price of dried nuts stood at $1,658 per tonne. 

In October alone, dried nuts fetched between 7,000 and 7,500 riel per kilogramme, or $1,900 per tonne, a significant improvement over previous prices, as per the CAC.