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Cambodia, EU, and GIZ Collaborate to Strengthen Cashew Sector

by Surya Narayan
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The Cambodian government, European Union (EU), and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) have partnered to provide technical assistance for cashew cultivation in Cambodia, aiming to bolster the growth and sustainability of the cashew industry in the country. The collaboration aims to support farmers and industry actors by offering training and expertise in advanced techniques and best practices.

GIZ Program Manager and Cluster Coordinator in Cambodia, Guenter Wessel, highlighted Cambodia’s immense potential in cashew production and called for increased export of cashew products to international markets. He emphasized that the partnership aims to enhance farmers’ productivity and income, thereby contributing to poverty reduction and rural development.

The technical assistance programs cover various stages of cashew cultivation, including land preparation, planting, harvesting, and post-harvest processing. Farmers receive training on sustainable farming practices such as soil management, water conservation, pest and disease control, and fertilization techniques. These practices not only ensure optimal crop growth but also promote environmental sustainability and reduce reliance on harmful chemicals.

The collaboration between Cambodia, the EU, and GIZ also focuses on capacity building and market development to create a thriving cashew industry that improves livelihoods and contributes to economic development. Efforts are underway to find European buyers who can help export Cambodia’s cashews to the global market.

Bryan Fornari, head of cooperation at the EU Delegation to Cambodia, emphasized the EU’s commitment to working closely with key stakeholders, including farmers, investors, GIZ, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and the Ministry of Commerce. Fornari stated that the European market is open to accepting cashew nuts from Cambodia, provided they meet the required standards. However, he acknowledged that meeting these standards is an ongoing process that requires fulfilling environmental and social standards as well as food safety requirements.

The article also highlights success stories within the cashew sector. Kimsuy Ly, a farmer who received technical training from GIZ, successfully implemented smart farming techniques and achieved significant profits from his cashew plantation. Laihout, the founder of Chey Sambo Cashew Nut Processing Handicraft, adheres to high standards in cashew nut processing and plans to expand her factory to meet the demand for processed cashew nuts.

Suy Kokthean, the Vice-President of the Cambodian Cashew Nut Association, expressed optimism about Cambodia becoming a leading producer of high-quality cashew nuts in the global market. He mentioned the expansion of the cashew agro-industry in Kampong Thom province and the interest of Singaporean investors in the sector.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries of Cambodia has endorsed the draft National Policy on Cashew Nuts for the period of 2022-2027. The policy aims to foster inclusive and competitive production and processing in the cashew industry, ensuring economic sustainability and diversification. The government is focused on enhancing the productivity, quality, and competitiveness of cashew cultivation and aims to command higher prices for the crop.

By implementing the national cashew policy and aligning with other strategic frameworks, Cambodia aims to stimulate the growth of competitive agribusiness and promote high-quality and safe cashew products in local, regional, and global markets.

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