The future of the cashew nut industry at the heart of discussions in Ziguinchor
At the meeting organized by Shelter For Life on January 23, 2024, players in the value chain discussed STRENGTHENING, STRATEGIC COLLABORATION, PROMOTION AND SYNERGY OF ACTIONS FOR THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SECTOR.
They welcomed the conclave, which served to bring together direct and indirect players, as well as financial institutions, with a view to proposing solutions to improve production, financing and marketing conditions.
According to Mr. Sérigne Ibrahima Diop, DCOP of Lifft-Cashew, creating this kind of framework makes it possible to harmonize the work that makes up a chain from cashew producer to processor, as creating this link between actors would facilitate better organization of the sector. He explains that price is also linked to quality, and with this in mind, a meeting on quality and price is needed with the Ministry of Commerce, state bodies and the various players to see to what extent this price can be regulated according to the quality of the products on offer.
Mr. Khalil Sagna, of the ICAS cashew interprofession, believes that this initiative will create the conditions for national cashew processing and foster the emergence of national champions. He firmly believes that Senegal could reap billions in revenue if the processing mechanisms were properly put in place, as the cashew industry is a source of opportunity and manpower, and can help combat unemployment and illegal emigration. However, exports need to be properly supervised by the state. Today, less than 2% of production is processed.
According to Khalil Sagna, for every 100 tonnes of raw cashew nuts exported, 30 jobs are lost, i.e. 300 jobs per 1,000 tonnes. But if the nuts are processed, the same number of stable jobs will be created. However, the government must support, facilitate and improve investment conditions.
The processors welcomed this type of conclave, initiated by the SFL, to share their experiences.
However, according to Mr. Abdoulaye Ndiaye, manager of the SEPT SA processing unit, financial institutions should give more thought to supporting processors in order to breathe new life into these units and thus promote local consumption, while facilitating export to the international market, since, according to Mr. Ndiaye, processing is an advantage for developing the value chain and thus combating the unlimited stocks of nuts that spoil due to non-marketing.
The export of cashew nuts without the possibility of processing is a loss of earnings, as evidenced by the fact that the weight exported is almost 150,000 tonnes of production each year, worth 90 billion euros.