Following an agreement with Vietnam to boost cashew production in the kingdom, the Ministry of Agriculture has called on all provincial agricultural departments in the country to conduct studies on the areas that present the best conditions for growing the crop.
On January 17, the ministry signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Vietnam Cashew Association that aims to bolster the production of cashews nuts in Cambodia to reach 1 million tonnes a year.
According to the agreement, the Vietnam Cashew Association agreed to share with local farmers advancements in technology related to planting and harvesting, as well as boost investment in local plantations, contract farming, and research.
“In order to efficiently increase the production of cashew nuts, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries calls on the different bodies of the ministry and on provincial departments of agriculture to select and clearly demarcate the areas that show the most potential for growing cashew nuts under the conditions agreed upon in the MoU signed on January 17,” the ministry’s statement, which was released on Thursday, said.
Kong Pheach, director of the agro-industry department in the Ministry of Agriculture, told Khmer Times last week that the ministry’s goal of generating an output of 1 million cashews will be achieved within a decade.
“With guaranteed markets through contract farming, and support from Vietnam, plantations will definitely increase and we will be able to reach an output of 1 million tonnes in less than 10 years,” Mr Pheach said.
The Vietnam Cashew Association has announced plans to set up plantations in Cambodia equaling 500,000 hectares.
Mr Pheach confirmed the association’s plans, but both sides failed to provide a specific location for the massive plantation project.
Last year, Cambodia produced more than 104,000 tonnes of cashew nuts. Nearly all of it (100,000 tonnes) was bought by cashew-processing companies in Vietnam.
Kampong Thom, Kampong Cham and Ratanakkiri are the biggest provinces in terms of area allocated to the cultivation of cashews, with 27, 18 and 17 percent of total cultivated land growing the crop, respectively.