The members of several farming communities in Ratanakkiri province have expressed their happiness at receiving new cashew processing equipment from the embassy of Japan.

The handover ceremony, to four agriculture communities in O Chum district, was held on May 28.

“The four farming communities expressed their pleasure and gratitude to the embassy of Japan to Cambodia for these facilities, which will provide efficient, effective inputs in the production chain of cashew processing,” said a social media announcement by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

It explained that the materials provided included storage facilities, nut selection devices, humidity measuring equipment and a drying hall.

This project was funded by the people and government of Japan under the Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Scheme (KUSANONE), at a cost of approximately $225,000. 

According to the Japanese embassy, in the last 34 years, through KUSANONE grants, ithas contributed to over 700 projects, and is pleased that these projects have directly contributed to an improvement in the quality of life of the Cambodian people at a grassroots level.

KUSANONE grants also support similar projects in Kampong Thom province. 

Currently, Chey Sambor Cashew Nut Processing Handicrafts is the only company in the Kingdom that exports processed cashew nuts to the Japanese market. 

The company plans to export approximately 100 tonnes of cashews to Japan this year, according to In Lai Huot, owner of the facility, located in Kampong Thom province.

“The cashew nuts in Cambodia are large, rich in flavour and highly valued in Japan and other countries. On the other hand, Cambodia lacks the appropriate drying facilities and warehouses to store the cashew nuts,” said Ichitomo Taninai, embassy deputy chief of mission.

“As a result, most of the harvested cashew nuts are exported in raw form at a low price,” he added.

Cambodia and Japan marked the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations last year, with the upgrade of the relationship to a “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership”. 

“We cherish the historical and friendly relationship that exists between our two countries, and I believe that this new grassroots project will help us to build a new bridge between our nations that will further strengthen our relationship in the future,” said Taninai.