In Africa, the cashew nut industry has grown from 1.0 million tonnes to 1.8 million tonnes, an annual growth rate of 5.8%, more than half of which was produced in Côte d’Ivoire. Against this backdrop of strong growth, numerous national and international projects and programs have focused on the cashew nut industry in Africa, and particularly in the West. These include the LIFFT-Cashew project, which aims to: “Linking Infrastructure, Finance and Farms to Cashew”.
This ambitious program, funded by the USDA (US Department of Agriculture), aims to facilitate the integration of Senegal, The Gambia and Guinea Bissau (SeGaBi), for better production and marketing of cashew nuts and by-products on local and international markets, by improving the value chain.
Thus, to meet these development challenges, it is important that governments and SeGaBi industry players can take inspiration from the LIFFT-Cashew Project to promote sustainable agricultural practices, improve food quality and safety and increase the added value of cashew products.
Production and Productivity
The low genetic quality of cashew trees in plantations, leading to low, heterogeneous production and a depreciation of cashew nuts in the SeGabi and on the world market (Senegal Cashew Day, 2022).
What does the LIFFT Cashew project do to improve quality and increase production?
- Training producers to respect Good Agricultural Practices (GAP);
- Certification of producers in organic farming;
- Setting up nurseries;
- Improvement of plantations through grafting and pruning;
- Imports from Vietnam of seeds and scions of new varieties.
What are the results of LIFFT Cashew on production?
- 9,205 farmers were trained in good farming practices on 7 demonstration plots;
- 8,510 farmers applied good agricultural practices on 16,884.74 ha of cashew nut plantations;
- 11,905 farmers, including 2,165 women, registered as cashew nut producers;
- 513 farmers certified in organic cashew production;
- 18 nurserymen trained and received equipment, 24 chain saws for pruning and 4 modern shade structures;
- To support reforestation, 68,150 improved cashew seedlings were produced, including 40,500 trees planted in the new cashew-producing region of Fatick, and 6,250 kg of intercropping seeds;
- A further 40 kg of seeds and scions of new varieties were imported from Vietnam, and multiplication is underway with research institutes and nurseries.
In Africa, the price of cashew nuts, as with most agricultural products, is influenced by a combination of factors: supply and demand. Indeed, this is one of the most fundamental factors influencing cashew nut prices. If cashew nut production is in excess of demand, prices tend to fall. Conversely, if demand is high relative to supply, prices can rise. However, this market law is not respected in the cashew nut sector, resulting in price volatility.
LIFFT-Cashew: improving producers’ incomes
- Improvement of infrastructures (Feeder and Connector Roads, storage warehouses);
- Organization of producers in the form of cooperatives;
- Promotion of group sales;
- B2B organization;
- Implementation of a contractualization system between producers and buyers;
- Storage via the warehouse receipt system (SRE);
- Improving access to financing, links with markets and trade;
- Setting up an information and management platform (LIFFT-UP Information Management).
How effective is the model?
The LIFFT-Cashew Project success:
- 24 cooperatives have been created thanks to the project’s support;
- Over 10,000 producers benefited directly from the project;
- 09 B2B sessions organized;
- Over 125 sales contracts signed between cooperatives and buyers;
- Over $4,000,000 in financial transactions and loans;
- 122,205 MT of RCN sold by cooperatives thanks to project support;
- Allocation of $120,000 in working capital to cooperatives;
- Construction and rehabilitation of warehouses for cooperatives and other cashew industry players;
- Equipping cooperative warehouses;
- Marketing support with the provision of rolling stock (tricycles and motorcycles) to cooperatives.
En effet, avec la baisse des ventes et la baisse des prix depuis 2022, la transformation reste la seule alternative par rapport à la production africaine et surtout celle de la zone SeGaBi.
Local processing in the various West African countries represented 70,000 MT, while 300,000 MT were still in stock or at sea freight. Côte d’Ivoire leads the way with 144,500 MT of almonds produced, up 70% on 2020. In second place, Nigeria, with 68,000 MT of almonds, recorded growth of almost 27%. For Burkina Faso, the increase is 31% to 17,000 tons, and for Ghana 25% to 15,000 MT. Cashew almond production has thus climbed by 43.34% to 267,500 MT in 2021, compared with 186,500 MT in 2020, according to data provided by N’kalô specialists. Indeed, despite the good processing prospects in West Africa, in the SeGaBi, the processing of nuts and derived products is still very low, with less than 5% of production being processed.
What is LIFFT-Cashew’s approach to cashew processing
Assisting companies in the certification process:
- HACCP, Organic, NOP for the US market, BRC;
- Consulting support.
- ACA Conference;
- Master Training Programme (MTP).
Funding for cashew processing :
- Cashew Fund ;
- Investment fund with Life Investment Groupe (LIG) ;
- US market.
- European market
- Processing equipment manufacturers.