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  • Sophalleth urges cashew facilities to go solar 12/27/2023

    Dec 27th, 2023

    Minister of Environment Eang Sophalleth encouraged medium-sized cashew processing companies to turn to green energy for their operations, in order to promote care for the environment and combat climate change. During a December 25 meeting with Sasaki Koji, CEO of Japanese-owned Mirarth Agri Tech, Sophalleth praised the company for switching to green energy at their facility in Kampong Thom province’s Prasat Sambor district. He said opting for clean energy is a priority as stated in the ministry’s Circular Strategy on Environment 2023-28, which focuses on cleanness, greenness and sustainability. He also shared his appreciation with the company for choosing Cambodia as their partner for cashew nut production, as well as exports to international markets. “Cashews are a major source of income for many Cambodian people. In addition, cashew trees absorb CO2 and introduce oxygen back into the environment,” explained the ministry, in a social media post. Koji told the minister that his company planned to expand its cashew processing operations into neighbouring Preah Vihear province, noting that the new plant will also utilise green energy technology imported from Japan. The firm projects that in the future, it will produce more than 20,000 tonnes of processed nuts per year. Uon Silot, president of the Cashew nut Association of Cambodia (CAC), said that currently he was only aware of one cashew processing facility in Stung Treng province that employs solar energy in their production chain. “Solar energy is good for the environment, but it requires a lot of initial capital. There are a total of 41 cashew processing facilities across the Kingdom, but I do not have statistics available for how many are employing solar,” he said. He added that Handcrafted Cashews Stung Treng (HCST) is a completely solar powered operation. HCST founder Muth Chakray said she spent around $70,000 to install solar technology at her facility, with the aim of contributing to environmental protection. “It is true that we spent a lot at the beginning, but if we compare the cost to other sources of an electrical supply, it is economical. We also want to contribute to the reduction of pollution into the atmosphere, so we gain benefits both for us and for the environment,” she said.