The Kingdom exported 866,207.77 tonnes of cashew nuts in the first seven months of 2021, a 345.29 per cent year-on-year surge, with Vietnam as the main buyer, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries reported.

Vietnam imported the most Cambodian cashew nuts during the January-July period, at 859,290 tonnes, followed by China (3,639.5 tonnes), Thailand (3,199.40 tonnes), Japan (34.43 tonnes), India (17 tonnes), Saudi Arabia (14.51 tonnes), Bangladesh (seven tonnes), South Korea (3.91 tonnes), Laos (two tonnes), Togo (0.01 tonnes) and the UAE (0.01 tonnes).

In Lai Huot, owner of the Chey Sambor cooperative cashew nut processing plant in southwestern Kampong Thom province’s Kampong Svay district, told The Post that the cash crop has a strong market share in the international arena.

She noted that her business supplies between eight and nine tonnes of finished cashew nuts on a typical month to Top Planning Japan Co Ltd for distribution in the Japanese market.

“My cooperative’s market is booming – we supply the Japanese company every month with all kinds of cashew nut product from our factory,” Lai Huot said.

The Cambodian government has been preparing a draft national policy for the crop, in a bid to expand cultivation, processing and export capacity.

And on June 24, the Ministry of Commerce held one in a series of internal meetings to review and seek feedback on the draft National Policy on Cashew Nuts in Cambodia.

Ministry secretary of state and Cambodian Cashew Nut Policy Joint Working Group deputy chairman Reach Ra, who led the meeting, stressed the commercial potential of the commodity and the merits of ramping up supply to domestic and international markets.

The national policy would provide a great boost towards achieving the Kingdom’s ambitions to become a significant producer and exporter, he said. “The purpose of the draft national policy is to turn Cambodia into an important producer and supplier of cashew nut products to serve the local, regional and global markets.”

In 2020, the Kingdom exported 218,981 tonnes of cashew nuts, an increase of 8.24 per cent from 202,318 tonnes in 2019, the agriculture ministry reported. Cashew nuts are exported to Vietnam, Japan, Russia, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, France, South Korea, Turkey and Bangladesh, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Laos.

In Cambodia today, there are more than 500,000ha of cashew plantations, with an average yield of 1.5 tonnes per hectare per year.