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  • Cashew nuts key to achieving exports target, says ministry 07/24/2020

    Jul 24th, 2020

    The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) has continued to promote the local development of cashew nuts, saying the crop has the potential to help the country achieve its aim for 12 percent growth in agricultural exports by 2025. The comments were made during a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing for a contract farming agreement between the private sector and agricultural collectives to purchase and sell the processed nuts. The ministry hopes that the public-private-producer partnerships will promote the development of the local sector. The companies who signed the partnership were Chey Sambo Cashew and Khmer Organic Cooperative. As well as the ministry’s agro-industry department and the Swiss-based international rural community development group HEKS/EPER. Country Director of HEKS/EPER Nong Sivuthan said that this cooperation is very important for the Kingdom’s cashew nut production and ensures good processing development and a standardised product. “We are strongly committed to working with multi-stakeholders to improve Cambodia’s agriculture sector. We have also been providing technical assistance to farmers for growing and processing. In addition, we are also preparing policy and working with the community to promote further development,” Sivuthan said. “HEKS/EPER has been operating in Cambodian since the 1980s and has helped more than 40,000 families to improve revenue and food security,” he added. Thlang Sovanpisey, director of Khmer Organic Cooperative, said to promote organic agricultural products the company has been cooperating with smallholders, farmers’ cooperatives and businesses to ensure a workable market price. “Cashew nuts have the potential for both the local and international market and demand is increasing every year. We want to promote local farmers’ standards of living by contributing to support locally-produced cashew nuts,” Sovanpisey said. In Laihourt, a representative from Chey Sambo Cashew nut processing handicraft in Kampong Thom province, said with this cooperation we will be able to promote the quality of cashew nuts by providing a fair price for farmers who have a contractual agreement with us. “We will provide good quality processed cashew nuts, promote Cambodia’s product to the international market and reduce migrant workers by offering local job opportunities, especially for women in the community,” she said. Laihourt added the cooperation will also offer a stable market price while reducing the outflow of raw materials. “We are now constructing a new cashew nut processing facility that could process between 400 to 500 tonnes of nuts a year. “This is a very important part to promote the Kingdom’s cashew nut production, especially in Kampong Thom,” she said. Agricultural Minister Veng Sakhon, who chaired the signing ceremony, said that the agreements are in line with the ministry’s strategic plan to promote the country’s agriculture sector for more contract farming policy in the form of state-private development partners and agricultural cooperative cooperation. However, Sakhon added that challenges remain regarding human resources and production costs. “One of the biggest challenges is because of our high cost of electricity. “Our production costs are more than those of neighbouring countries,” he said.