In July 2020, twenty members of the Cooperative of Producers of Cashew of Coumbacara, in Senegal, were trained in Cooperative Management and Agricultural Entrepreneurship, as part of the cashew value chain capacity-building efforts of the LIFFT-Cashew Project (Linking Finance and Farms to Cashews, operated by Shelter for Life International. Capacity-building training helps to prepare many farmers, like Aliou, to plan for the coming years.

Aliou is a 66-year-old cashew producer and member of this cooperative since its founding in 2012. He lives in the village of Medina Ndondy in the Commune of Coumbacara, in the Department of Kolda. For Aliou, the training was an innovative experience that allowed him to think of his business on a larger scale in terms of profits and organization.

Our organization has been in place since 2012, and we have never had the chance to focus on its future like we have now during this training. It is the first training for us to think about how to enhance our infrastructure and improve our equipment too. We have always functioned without worrying about how to make our organization useful to us and bring in more wealth. Now we can better understand the possibilities and the resources that we already have, by organizing ourselves more seriously to improve our incomes, rely on our own financial resources, and work with microfinance institutions and commercial banks. This training has shown us that we can join forces and manage our assets transparently to enrich each other.

Aliou remains committed to his producer friends and members for the revitalization of the cooperative and prays that the organization will be a success for the happiness of all member families and the community. “My sincere thanks to the USDA and to the LIFFT-Cashew Project for the support they have provided to us to allow us to work and produce better.”

With funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Shelter for Life International continues to implement the LIFFT-Cashew Project, working with producers’ associations and cooperatives to strengthen their capacity to become formalized Cashew Marketing Associations (CMAs).

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