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Ministry calls for cashew nut processing factory

Sorn Sarath / Khmer Times Share:
Cashew nuts are a developing export for Cambodia. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has urged a company that has been farming cashew nut trees in Siem Reap, to invest in a processing factory because the government is considering establishing a cashew nut research centre.

The call was made during a meeting between Minister Veng Sakhon and the president of Sophorn Theary Peanich Co Ltd Siek Piseth yesterday  in Siem Reap province.

Sophorn Theary Peanich Co Ltd, which was granted an economic land concession (ELC) of 4,000 hectares in Chong Spean village, Khvav commune, Chi Kraeng district, Siem Reap province, in 2006, said it would implement a contract with the Ministry of Agriculture in 2017 to grow cashew nut trees on a 1,232-hectare plantation.

Sakhon said that the company should expand its plantation and urged the company to establish the processing factory to add value at a cost better than selling the raw material.

“If the company could invest in a [cashew nut] processing factory, it will transform the region into a cashew nut processing hub in the future and will create more jobs in the province,” he said.

Sakhon said the Ministry is also considering establishing cashew nut research centre to promote the development of the sector.

Piseth said tha the company has already completed growing on 1,030 hectares, providing more than 500 kilogrammes a year in output per hectare on average. He said last year, the company collected more 250 tonnes of cashew nuts.

The company also discussed a lack of expertise in develop cashew nuts. The tree can easily be damaged by insects and climate change.

“The ministry should establish the cashew nut research centre to study the issue of production, quality of soil and insects to develop more productivity and sustainability,” he said, adding that the company will assist the ministry with the research centre.

A report from the Ministry of Agriculture shows that Cambodia exported 190,141 tonnes of cashew nuts to foreign markets during the first five months of this year, an increase of more than 25 percent compared with the same period last year.

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