Agriculture minister Dith Tina has invited interested Russian investors to look into the potential of Cambodian agricultural products, especially rubber and cashew nut, and possibly even export them back to their home market.

At an April 7 meeting with Russian ambassador Anatoly Borovik, the minister suggested that exports to the Russian market would be easier if carried out by one of their own.

The ministry is asking Russian players to consider selling agricultural fertilisers to Cambodia at reasonable rates, he said.

Tina also asked for Russian teachers, particularly in agriculture and mechanical engineering. He affirmed that three local agricultural schools are keen to work with interested parties on the matter.

As of late, Prime Minister Hun Sen has been encouraging investment in cashew nut processing to boost exports, and potentially turn Cambodia into the “king of cashews” down the road.

The agriculture ministry reported that, last year, 382,000 tonnes of natural rubber was produced nationwide, up 3.8 per cent on 2021. More than 372,000 of that was exported, clocking in at $527.77 million, up 1.81 per cent on a yearly basis – from $518.4 million.

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. Notable buyers included Vietnam, Japan and China – the first of which imported 660,000 tonnes, it said.