In­fra­struc­ture up­grade in the cashew sec­tor

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - International Business -

CAMCASHEW, a Cam­bo­dian-malaysian joint ven­ture, and South Korean firm Na­roo Ma­rine will in­vest $100 mil­lion in fa­cil­i­ties in Kam­pong Cham to process cashew nuts and ready them for ex­port to South Korea.

Camcashew and Na­roo Ma­rine yes­ter­day signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing, out­lin­ing plans to work to­gether to build cashew-pro­cess­ing fa­cil­i­ties in Kam­pong Cham and send them to the East Asian eco­nomic pow­er­house.

Syai­ful Hazreen Bin H.J. Hasan Nodin, direc­tor of Camcashew, said the Korean firm had agreed to buy 10,000 tonnes of pro­cessed Cam­bo­dian cashews.

Camcashew’s 4,000 hectares of plan­ta­tions in Kratie, how­ever, are not enough to pro­duce that amount, so they will seek the co­op­er­a­tion of the Cashew Nut As­so­ci­a­tion of Kam­pong Thom to fill the gap, Mr Hasan Nodin said.

“Dur­ing phase 1 of the agree­ment, we will be in­vest­ing $30 mil­lion on cashew-pro­cess­ing fa­cil­i­ties and plan­ta­tions. We will ex­pand in­vest­ment and pro­duc­tion in the fol­low­ing years,” Mr Hasan Nodin said, ex­plain­ing that the in­vest­ment will go to­wards build­ing six plants and ex­pand­ing its ex­ist­ing ware­houses.

Na­roo Ma­rine’s pres­i­dent Kim Ki Chul said he saw a lu­cra­tive op­por­tu­nity in the lo­cal cashew mar­ket when he re­alised that the king­dom had very few plants to process cashew nuts.

He said that most raw cashew nuts are sent to Viet­nam or China as Cam­bo­dia does not have the ca­pac­ity to process them, adding that he now plans to grow the com­mod­ity in Cam­bo­dia and send it to South Korea, where de­mand is high.

Cam­bo­dia pro­duced 104,268 tonnes of cashews last year, 100,000 tonnes of which were bought by Viet­namese cashew-pro­cess­ing com­pa­nies. Most pro­duc­tion comes from Kam­pong Thom and Kam­pong Cham, which ac­count for 29 per­cent and 18 per­cent re­spec­tively of the coun­try’s pro­duc­tion.

Raw cashew nuts sell for $2 per kilo­gram, while pro­cessed cashews go for $17 per kilo­gram, ac­cord­ing to Kam­pong Thom’s Cashew Nut As­so­ci­a­tion.

Oum Uon, pres­i­dent of the Sambo Prey Kub Cashew Nut As­so­ci­a­tion in Kam­pong Thom prov­ince, said re­cently that lo­cal cashew-pro­cess­ing com­pa­nies are less so­phis­ti­cated than those in neigh­bour­ing coun­tries, par­tic­u­larly in Viet­nam, due to a lack of fund­ing and a dearth of skills.

“The lack of know-how and funds make them very un­com­pet­i­tive, so most fresh cashew nuts end up in the hands of traders, who sell them to Viet­nam,” Mr Oun ex­plained.

– Kh­mer Times

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