Cashew competition set to pick out processing champs

Cashew competition set to pick out processing champs

A total of 20 entries have been finalised for the first 2024 Cashew Nutrition Competition in the Kingdom. Organised by the Department of Agriculture and Industry of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the event will be held in two rounds the first on May 9 and 10 in Siem Reap and the second on May 24 in Phnom Penh, said Im Rachana, spokesperson for the Ministry of Agriculture recently.

The objective of the contest, said the department, is to identify the best potential among cashew processing entrepreneurs using contract agricultural production. This would include processing techniques, market competition and flavour additions.

The competition is crucial to encourage the local processors, said Silot Uon, President Cashew Nut Association of Cambodia (CAC). The pivotal point of the competition is to encourage local investors to keep an eye on the agro-industry and to process locally owing to abundant raw cashew nuts (RCN) in the country. It will also inform local processors about food safety, international standards and packaging, to ensure local products can compete internationally.

The need is to enhance the technological and hygiene standards in processing facilities, said Takayuki Imahashi, Business Planning Officer, MIRARTH Agri Tech Co Ltd. By improving these areas, factories can achieve small packaging capabilities, which add significant value to the product.

This capability allows cashews to be sold at higher prices due to the increased perceived value of well-packaged, hygienically handled nuts. Elevating these standards not only meets growing consumer demands for quality and safety but also positions the cashew industry to tap into more lucrative market segments.

The quality of the Cambodian cashews is well known but the lack of proper certification is a problem faced by many producers, said Francois-Xavier Richard Choquette, Managing Director, Aidens Cashews. Some help with the certification procedure would be welcome from the farmers and the other actors in the cashew industry like the processors and the manufacturers.

The growing, farming and harvesting stages must be supported with the processing and transforming phases. This would enable manufacturers to add value to a primary resource in Cambodia.

That is necessary for the cashew industry as it is for the mango, rice and pepper industries. (khmertimeskh)

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