Nigeria’s cashew industry will benefit from a $60 million US-backed project to local cashew processing in three West African countries.
The project is tagged Prosper Cashew.
The Prosper Cashew project, started by a non-profit organisation, TechnoServe and supported by the US Department of Agriculture, will create a fund to strengthen the commercial viability of processing in Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria.
Launched in October 2020, the project aims to act as a catalyst for the cashew industry, strengthening and reviving existing processing facilities and facilitating needed working capital.
TechnoServe flagged off the project in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, the top cashew producer in Africa.
West Africa is the world’s leader in cashew production, accounting for more than 45 percent of the raw cashew nuts harvested around the globe each year.
However, less than 10 percent of raw cashew nuts are processed within West Africa.
The vast majority are exported to Asia, where they are processed before being shipped to consumer markets around the world.
At the launching ceremony, Adama Coulibaly, director of Ivory Coast’s cotton and cashew council, told Bloomberg News that processing “remains our biggest challenge, but the government is working hard to change this”.
“The country aims to process about half of its output by 2025.
Krishanu Chakravarty, project director for Prosper Cashew in Abidjan, said 75 percent of the action will be in Ivory Coast “because of the scale and size that it has”.
“So 75% of the money will get disbursed here because of the conducive processing environment,” Chakravarty said.
Over the next five years, TechnoServe said Prosper Cashew would improve the capacity of 60 processors who source cashews from approximately 34,000 farmers, facilitate $497 million of investment in the cashew sector, and generate $1.
5 billion in cashew kernel sales.
“The project expects to create more than 26,000 new jobs and indirectly benefit more than 133,000 women, men, and children in West Africa,” TechnoServe said in a post on its website.
Nigeria’s Cashew Industry Will Benefit From A $60 Million US-Backed Project-NGO