The Sambo Prei Kuk Cashew Nut Association said 8,000 tonnes of cashews were harvested this season, with the price hovering between $1.5 to $2 per kilogram for fresh cashew nuts, and $15 per kilo for processed cashews.
Oum Uon, president of the association in Kampong Thom province, told Khmer Times the harvest season for the commodity began in early March and ran until the end of May. The highest yields were recorded between mid-March and mid-April, he said.
“Cashew nut yields increased slightly this year in Kampong Thom compared to 2017. We have so far collected about 85 percent of the harvest.”
He said semi-processed cashew nuts were exported to Vietnam, China and Japan.
Kong Pheach, director of the Agro-industry Department, told Khmer Times that this year cashews are fetching a higher price in the market, adding that plantations of the commodity have also expanded.
“Demand continues to rise”, he said, explaining that more plantations are popping up around the country to meet it.
He said the provinces of Kampong Thom, Ratanakkiri and Mondulkiri had the highest yields in the country.
According to Mr Pheach, Cambodia has about 140,000 hectares of land cultivated with cashew trees, which produce 100,000 tonnes of the commodity.
“With guaranteed markets through contract farming, and support from Vietnam, cashew plantations will definitely increase and we will be able to reach an output of one million tonnes in less than 10 years,” he said.
The Ministry of Agriculture signed a memorandum of understanding with the Vietnam Cashew Association earlier this year to increase cashew output and have at least 500,000 hectares of land planted with the crop.
Thiv Vanthy, director of Kampong Thom’s Agriculture Department, told Khmer Times the province is looking for land that the Vietnam Cashew Association can use to test their seeds and establish whether or not they can adapt to local soil and climate. Tests will take three to four years to yield results, and have to be done with utmost care, he said.