Cambodia’s cashew value chain has received a boost after discussions were held between Cambodia Cashew Federation (CCF) and development partners to build the nation’s nascent cashew export sector.
On February 13, CCF hosted the meeting, which was attended by CCF members and several development partners, to grow the export sector in a profitable and sustainable way.
According to a Facebook post from EuroCham Cambodia, while the Kingdom is one of the world’s leading cashew producers, only five to seven percent of cashews are processed in the country.
During the meeting, CCF president An Dara said post-harvesting techniques need to be improved. “These include drying and properly storing cashews. Creating cooperatives of farmers to combine their harvests for drying could help make the process easier,” the post stated.
Eugene Kraamwinkel, EuroCham’s chairman of the agribusiness committee, said traders pose the largest threat to the cashew industry. “These middlemen can manipulate prices and transactions, leaving farmers in the Kingdom without much leverage. The CCF, in part, hopes to alleviate this issue by decreasing dependence on middlemen.”
Another key point to emerge from the meeting is that improved access to finance, coupled with lower interest rates, will support cashew farmers to cover operating costs. This allows them to spend more time creating quality products instead of selling to the first bidder.
In January, official figures revealed that the country had exported a total of 670,000 tons of raw cashew nuts to the international market, valued at about $1.07 billion. This marked a decline of 34.65 percent.
In the same month, the government approved the “Draft National Policy on Cashew 2022-2027”, aimed at creating a more competitive environment within the cashew product production marketing and transforming Cambodia into a major producer and supplier of cashew for local and international markets.
CCF was launched by the Ministry of Commerce in October 2022. Its purpose it to strengthen the cashew industry in line wit the National Cashew Policy.