Cashew forum held to promote local processing and boost export

PHNOM PENH: The two-day Cashew Forum kicked off today in Kampong Thom province intending to promote the cashew processing sector in Cambodia and boost the export of processed cashew nuts to international markets.

Themed “Together, we support Cambodia cashew products”, the forum is jointly organized from Dec. 6 to 7 by the Ministry of Commerce, , Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF), and Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology, and Innovation in collaboration with the European Union and Germany.

The forum is aimed to promote cashew nuts, boost value-added production chains, and export, the Ministry of Commerce said.

Cambodia exported 422,482 tonnes of unprocessed cashew nuts abroad in the January-November period of 2023, a decrease of 10.14 percent compared to the same period last year, according to a report from the MAFF.

H.E. Touch Bun Hour, Secretary of State at the MAFF, said the ministry has worked with relevant parties to reduce the cost of production.

Currently, between 5 and 10 percent of fresh cashew nuts are processed in the country, he pointed out, adding that the other 90 percent are exported to foreign countries as raw materials. This makes Cambodia lose a lot of added value.

The Cambodian government has also launched the National Cashew Policy 2022-2027, a roadmap focusing on three major strategic goals — production strategy, processing strategy, and export strategy.

In 2021, the total production of cashew nuts was 5 million tonnes worldwide, of which 1.18 million tonnes were from Cambodia, making the Kingdom the biggest producer.

In 2022, Cambodia ranked the second biggest producer of cashew nuts in the globe by producing some 690,000 tonnes.

Cashew plantations are found mostly in the provinces of Kampong Cham, Thbong Khmum, Kampong Thom, Kratie, Mondulkiri, Rattanakiri, Stung Treng, Preah Vihear, Oddar Meanchey, Siem Reap, and Kampong Chhnang, according to the MAFF.

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