Are cashews cash crops?

Today, nearly 4 million metric tons of cashew nuts are produced worldwide. Most African cashew is cultivated in West Africa, where it is one of the region's most important emerging cash crops. Cashew is harvested before the rains; it comes at a time when no other crop is harvested and farmers can use the money from the sale of cashew nuts to produce their other crops, such as corn and sorghum. For the lucky cashew producers in the central and northern parts of the country, February to June is harvest time.

The company buys about 40,000 tons of cashew nuts a year in West African countries, such as Ghana, Ivory Coast, Benin, Burkina Faso and Mali. Recalling how he buried the millions of rails from his first sale of products in a plastic bag behind his house, Jeg remains focused on the money he and his neighbors have earned. In a context of geopolitical transitions in the 1990s, cashew was the right crop at the right time to benefit from the globalism that entered Cambodia. The Cambodian Cashew Association estimates that there are about 500,000 hectares (1.2 million acres) of land used to grow cashew nuts.

The windfall could be even greater and stimulate a true cashew industry capable of competing with India and other cashew nut producers, such as Vietnam, in international markets. Like many companies that supply cashew nuts to retailers in Europe and the US. In the U.S., Usibras used to buy raw walnuts from West Africa and export them for processing. The cashew nut craze in Vietnam began under the 1986 Doi Moi economic liberalization program, leading the country to become the world's leading exporter of cashew nuts in the early 2000s.

The 48,000 kg of cashew nuts it produces each year are sold to a major company, which then processes them and exports them to burgeoning European, American and Asian markets. After collecting some cashew nuts on a nearby farm, Jeg planted 40 seeds next to the rice fields of his home in the village of Svay, north of the provincial capital, Banlung. Cashew nuts grown by Cambodian mountaineers usually end up in Vietnam for refining and export. In recognition of how important cultivation has become for farmers, the Kingdom is finalizing a national policy on cashew nuts to improve its domestic production.

Cambodia has four large processing factories, according to the national director of the cashew nut association, Uon Silot, who hopes to increase the number of operations. Commercial cultivation is usually cultivated in the southern coastal regions of the country, near the cities of Mtwara, Kilwa and Dar es Salaam.