The Mondulkiri Province
Cambodia is located in the heart of Southeast Asia, Mondulkiri province enjoys a tropical climate, with temperatures averaging 23°C year-round.
This ideal climate for growing cacao, combined with the ingenuity and determination of local farmers, is giving rise to a fascinating new story: that of Cambodian cacao.
Of these, 31 Khmer farmers and 20 tribal families have started working with Kamkav since 2019, representing 65 hectares of cacao plantations
The Bunong cacao
One of the unique characteristics of Cambodian cacao is its variety: "Bunong cacao".
This hybrid variety of Forastero x Trinitario owes its name to the indigenous Bunong tribe, which resides in the provinces of Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri.
In January 2020, Professor Albertus Eskes discovered 19 sub-varieties of this hybrid, adding a wealth of diversity to the region's cacao flavor.
Today, Kamkav Farm is WAT Chocolate's main cacao supplier, working with 10 local farms.
It was in 2014 that an innovative entrepreneurial initiative was born in this province, with the creation of "Kamkav Farm".
The founders, a Khmer and a Dutchman, Chanthol Chean and Stefan Struik, bought 30 hectares in the highlands of Mondulkiri province, probably the first cacao plantation in Cambodian history.
Kamkav Farm's mission was clear: to change the perception of land as a place for long-term projects, encouraging farmers to look beyond the next harvest.
In addition to the quality of the cacao, another reason for the uniqueness of our cacao bean lies in Kamkav Farm's sustainable farming practices.
Local farmers, mainly from local tribes, have chosen an organic approach to growing cacao. They create their own fertilizer from cow manure, which they collect from their own homes or from families in the province. They also produce their own natural pesticide from Neem leaf and bark extracts, cow dung and water.
This eco-responsible approach not only benefits the environment, but also helps to improve the quality and taste of the cacao.
The growth of cacao in Cambodia has also been helped by the cacao farmers' association, CFARM.
This association plays a central role in organizing education programs, guiding farmers, promoting agroforestry practices and negotiating fair prices for farmers.
In addition, Kamkav Farm and CFARM have joined forces to set up a centralized fermentation process, a crucial step in improving cacao quality.