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“Unlock Stung Treng’s Potential: Invest in Cashew Processing for Cambodia’s Agro-Industrial Revolution”

by Surya Narayan
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At an April 24 press conference, Stung Treng Department of Agriculture director, Tum Niro, addressed the attendees. Photo credit: Heng Chivoan.

Officials in Cambodia’s Stung Treng province project an influx of investments in large-scale factories and manufacturing enterprises, focusing on processing agricultural raw materials into value-added products, especially cashew nuts, which have shown significant commercial potential.

During a press conference, the provincial administration’s accomplishments over the past five years were highlighted. Tum Niro, the director of the provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, reported that Stung Treng’s agriculture sector has grown at a steady pace of 6-7% per year, contributing to 67-69% of the province’s GDP.

Niro emphasized the importance of agriculture in providing food security and enhancing the living standards for the province’s residents. Although Stung Treng is not suitable for rice cultivation, it is an ideal location for agro-industrial crops such as cashews.

Between 2018 and 2022, the province’s 44,000 hectares of cashew crops produced around 90,000 to 100,000 tonnes of nuts, generating over $100 million in revenue for the provincial economy. Despite the substantial cashew production, the province lacks large-scale processing facilities.

Niro urged both foreign and domestic investors to seize this opportunity to support Cambodia’s ambition to become a “cashew emperor” and recognize Stung Treng’s potential by investing in factories and processing plants.

Svay Sam Eang, Stung Treng’s provincial governor, noted the increasing prominence of cashew crops as a strategic resource in the province and mentioned that various companies and individuals were exploring investment possibilities.

He explained that in the past, the main market for cashew, rubber, and cassava crops from the province was Vietnam, through the Oyadao border checkpoint in the neighboring Ratanakkiri province. The Thai market, however, remained limited.

Eang expressed the provincial leadership’s dedication to promoting cashew cultivation by enhancing agriculture and agro-industry, imparting essential technical skills, and expanding collaboration with development partners and the private sector. The goal is to mobilize investment to increase the production of semi-finished and finished products, in turn raising the income and living standards of the province’s residents.

In March, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen underlined the government’s intent to develop Cambodia’s cashew industry. Currently, the country exports one million tonnes of unprocessed cashew nuts.

Stung Treng province in Cambodia is poised for significant growth and investment in the agro-industrial sector, specifically cashew nut processing. With a steady annual growth rate of 6-7% in agriculture, the province offers promising potential for investors to capitalize on the thriving cashew production. 

The local administration seeks to foster this development through collaboration with development partners and the private sector, focusing on skill-building and expanding processing facilities. Investing in Stung Treng’s cashew industry today will contribute to Cambodia’s ambition to become a global “cashew emperor” while simultaneously boosting the nation’s economy and improving living standards for the local population.

Source: The PhnomPenh Post

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