Vietnam wants Cambodia to grow cashew

HCM City – The Việt Nam Cashew Association has provided VNĐ1.5 billion (US$66,000) to the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries for growing one million cashew trees on a total area of 500,000 hectares from now through 2022.

“Cambodia is one of the countries in the world that have excellent natural conditions for growing cashew,” Nguyễn Đức Thanh, chairman of VINACAS, told a conference held on Thursday to discuss import and export of cashew through next year.

Cambodia has paid much attention to developing cashew to improve the living standards of farmers, he said.

VINACAS has collaborated with the ministry and some Cambodian firms and hopes to grow one million tonnes of cashew a year in that country in a few years from now.

VINACAS and its members will buy the entire cashew output and work closely with Cambodian partners to speed up the project.

“In the last few years, due to price volatility and poor management of farming, the area under cashew in Cambodia plummeted from 300,000ha in 2014 to 100,000ha,” Hean Vann Horn, head of the ministry’s agriculture general department and an envoy of the Cambodian Government said.

“To ensure success and attract the participation of local farmers, VINACAS should provide good seeds, training in cultivation techniques and harvesting technologies to ensure good quality and yields.”

This year Việt Nam is expected to export processed cashew worth $3.5 billion and remain the largest exporter in the world as it has been for the last 11 years.

Việt Nam has a strong cashew processing industry, but local raw material supply only meets 20 -35 per cent of demand.

Việt Nam has imported 1.2 million tonnes of raw cashew so far this year, mostly from Africa.

But importers face risks related to poor quality and difficulty in getting refunds.

Before 2014 Cambodia had only been exporting 30 per cent of its raw cashew to Việt Nam, but for the last two years the figure has been 90 per cent. It is now the fifth biggest exporter to Việt Nam.

If Cambodia can grow one million tonnes of cashew a year, it will be the biggest raw cashew nut exporter in the world. – VNS