Kampong Thom (FN), May 25 – Deputy governor of Kampong Thom province Chea Vanchan urged farmers to increase cultivation of high-quality cashew nuts as the Royal Government has launched the national policy to export the nuts to foreign markets.

Chea Vanchan spoke at the welcoming ceremony for Japanese investors during their visit to Chey Sambo Cashew Nut Processing Handicraft in Trapeang Arak Village, Chey Commune, Kampong Svay District, Kampong Thom Province on Thursday (May 25).

According to the deputy governor, Kampong Thom is a potential province for planting cashew nut crops. Farmers have cultivated more than 140,000 hectares of land. The yields are sold to investors for export, and some are sold to processing companies as well as other handicrafts. Apparently, this Top Planning Corporation (TPC) company also purchases cashew nuts from farmers for processing and direct export to Japan.

On behalf of the Kampong Thom provincial authorities, Vanchan urged farmers to pay higher attention on their crops, as well as the proper use of pesticides or other techniques to obtain good quality yields.

Vanchan claimed that besides the visiting Japanese investors, more than ten other companies are interested in processing cashew nuts. In addition, the province also has the ability to convert the shells into a high-quality oil for use in Japan.

The provincial administration also encouraged the private sector to invest in cashew processing, with the provincial administration providing legal support and facilitations to offer better conditions and ease the burden in the opening of cashew nuts processing, especially if it brings major market to farmers.

Imahashi Takayuki, a representative of Top Planning Corporation (TPC) company, pointed out that  Cambodia has grown rapidly as one of the largest cashew producers in the world. Unfortunately, there are not many processing facilities in this country, and now Japanese companies are interested in processing cashew nuts.

"The company's plan is not only for the Japanese market but also for China, Europe, Australia, etc., but we use the Japanese market for testing. As a result, we have been successful. There are 300 supermarkets purchasing the products," Imahashi Takayuki underlined.

In Layhuot, manager of Chey Sambo Cashew Nut Processing Handicraft, said that by 2023, Chey Sambo has organized, expanded the market, and cooperated with TPC company.

Regarding contracts, there are nine groups of farmers residing in Chey Sombo and 50 model farmers. The signing of a contract has not been made due to limited quantity produced in Chey Sambo. Therefore, we have set a standard to acquire as a pilot model with the farmers, so we can have at least two thousand tons from the nine groups.

"Regarding the MoU, if Chey Sambo Cashew Nut Processing Handicraft becomes a supplier for three companies from Japan, Korea, and Canada, and also China, we think the supply quantity of the finished products are from 400 to 500 tons, which is equivalent to 1,500 tons of unprocessed cashew nuts in 2023," In Layhuot added.

Layhout urged all cashew farmers to follow the standard so that the quality of Cambodian cashew nuts can find a better market. Thus, investors can offer more support for the standards.

Lastly, Layhout also asked the Royal Government for its assistance in promoting the market and offering physical training for farmers in the post-harvest management period to get a better standard of fresh nuts to improve Cambodian cashews.