A woman performs quality checks on cashew nuts at the Cashew Nut Village Shelling Center in Kampong Thom province.
Local agricultural firm Camcashew signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with an obscure South Korean company yesterday with the aim of exporting 10,000 tonnes of processed cashew nuts next year, claiming that the two firms had reserved $100 million to fund the agreement.
Camcashew, a joint venture between a Cambodian and Malaysian firm, signed the MoU with Kim Ki Chul, president of South Korea’s Naroo Marine Company Limited.
Syaiful Hazreen, director of Camcashew, said yesterday that $80 million would be spent to purchase 40,000 tonnes of raw cashew nuts while the remaining $20 million would be spent on purchasing a 400-hectare plot of land and machinery for processing the raw kernels.
“So far, we have only supplied cashew nuts to the local market, but right now we have an agreement that ensures that Korea will buy processed cashews from us,” he said, adding that the company hopes to start exporting in February of next year.
“We hope that in the future we can export more kinds of agricultural products [to Korea] in addition to cashew nuts,” he added.
While the $100 million MoU is only valid for one year, both companies have committed to extending the agreement providing Camcashew can successfully meet the export requirements.
To do that, Camcashew intends to sign supply contracts with cashew farmer associations in the provinces of Kampong Thom, Kampong Cham, Kratie, Ratanakiri and Preah Vihear. Those provinces hold a total of 30,000 hectares of cashew fields.
According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Cambodia produces a total of about 104,000 tonnes of raw cashews annually. Most production comes from the provinces of Kampong Thom and Kampong Cham, which account for 29 percent and 18 percent respectively.
In the first 11 months of this year, Cambodia exported 71,293 tonnes of raw cashews to Vietnam, Thailand, China and India. Vietnam alone absorbed 98 percent of these exports.
By The Phnom Penh Post
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