Local enterprise Chey Sambor Cashew Nut Processing Handicraft is exploring the possibility for their partnership with Top Planning Japan Co Ltd (TPJ) to generate a monthly 20 tonnes of processed cashew nuts for export.
This comes after a second batch of the nuts was successfully delivered to TPJ on June 13, according to In Lai Huot, owner of the business, based in southwestern Kampong Thom province’s Kampong Svay district.
She told The Post on June 14 that her enterprise was seeking funding and studying the feasibility of expanding production to be better equipped to meet a likely post-Covid surge in demand for cashew nuts.
Lai Huot stressed that her business’ products are not exclusively for export to Japan, but they also stock local markets and stores, such as Khmer Organic Cooperative Co Ltd, and are sold to wholesale and retail clients in the provinces, particularly in tourist areas surrounding Kampong Thom’s Sambor Prei Kuk temple complex.
“I have not yet said when the plan to build up a 20-tonne [per month] capacity will come true, because we do not have enough capital,” she lamented.
Recently, Lai Huot mentioned that Covid had led to a drop in orders. Chey Sambor has delivered just two batches of cashew nuts TPJ, seven tonnes last month and nine on June 13.
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries director for Agro-Industry Kong Pheach emphasised cashew nuts’ high potential for export to international markets.
The expansion plans are consistent with government policy to promote the prestige of agricultural products, as encapsulated by their share of the Kingdom’s total exports, as well as to create new jobs for farmers, extract additional value from production, and reduce imports of raw materials, he said.
“Processed cashew nuts are a high-potential commodity for export to many countries around the world. As far as I know, many companies are currently contacting Cambodia for” them, he said, voicing support for Chey Sambor’s ambitions.
In Cambodia today, there are more than 500,000ha of cashew plantations, with an average yield of 1.5 tonnes per hectare per year, according to Pheach.
During a visit to the business on June 13, agriculture minister Veng Sakhon encouraged the community to find more partners to acquire planting and processing techniques, as well as to discover new markets.
“Once a product is marketed, it will lead to increased production, which in turn leads to increased revenue, creating more new job opportunities. This is the desire of the Royal Government – to promote agricultural exports in the context of the spread of the Covid-19 disease,” he said.
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 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.