Prime Minister Hun Sen on March 24 asked the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) and Ministry of Economy and Finance to put together a financing package to support the cashew nut industry’s ability to produce and export the commodity, with ambitions to turn the Kingdom into a top supplier at the global level.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the finance ministry, the premier revealed that the sector is “still short $6 million”, citing a report from Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Dith Tina.

Citing full-year 2021 figures, Hun Sen commented that Cambodian cashew nut production outstripped that of the Ivory Coast, at more than 1.18 million tonnes versus the African country’s 1.1 million. The Kingdom also exported roughly 1.1 million tonnes of raw cashew nuts that year.

He stressed that the National Policy on Cashew Nuts for 2022-2027 – adopted on January 13 this year – would require additional investment in the domestic processing of the fibre-rich drupe seeds for the Kingdom to become a top supplier as desired.

Finance ministry spokesman Meas Soksensan told The Post on March 26 that his ministry had created the financing package – of $6 million, as mentioned by Hun Sen – which is to be provided by the state-owned Agricultural and Rural Development Bank of Cambodia (ARDB).

The premier remarked that the nationwide cultivation area for cashew nuts that are not processed domestically is on the rise, requiring adequate working capital and investment in processing facilities. The sector will expand as global demand increases, he said.

The Cashew nut Association of Cambodia (CAC) reported that Cambodia exported 670,000 tonnes of raw cashew nuts to the tune of $1.077 billion in 2022, down more than a third from the previous year in terms of tonnage.