Did you know that Côte d’Ivoire is the largest cashew nut producer in the world? The West African country produces about 20% of the world’s raw cashew nuts in-shell, which amounts to 750 000 to 800 000 metric ton per season. But the cashew is one tough nut to crack! Unlike other nuts, the cracking must be done professionally. Consumers usually only know the cashew kernel – a snack increasingly in demand worldwide. The cracking and processing industry of the cashew nut on the other hand is not very well developed in Côte d’Ivoire yet. The ‘Cashew Côte d’Ivoire’ project wants to change this!
Cashew shelling, peeling and roasting factories can be a large provider of income and value-added to a country’s economy. But even though Côte d’Ivoire produces about 20% of worldwide nuts, only a very small amount of about 5-7% of this harvest is processed nationally. Around 25 cashew processing factories in Côte d’Ivoire struggle to become competitive against the factories in Vietnam and India, the two largest processing countries.
Enhancing competitiveness of cashew processing factories
The Ivoirian Government is keen to support these processors in their development; and alongside direct coaching of the factories, an important area of improvement are the national services provided to guide and enhance the private processing sector. Globally Cool has been commissioned by the Dutch Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI) to support Ivoirian business support organizations in this regard. Services need to be improved to give necessary information, tools and contacts to the emerging cashew processing factories so that they become competitive on the world market.
Improving services of Ivorian Business Support Organizations (BSOs)
Globally Cool has started to work with four key BSOs in the cashew sector in Côte d’Ivoire – the Cashew and Cotton Council, the Cashew Processors Association, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as the National Export Council. Work has just started to improve services on sector dialogue enhancement, market information, export potentials, sustainability certifications, cashew branding and support to market access in Europe. Particularly the Cashew Processors Association is also supported in their internal development because only a strong private sector organization can effectively support its members.
Activities take off in 2021
Training and coaching of the four BSOs will take off now in 2021, after a period of analysis and discussion with the partners. Due to the worldwide health crisis, the start of the project activities has been a little delayed, but all partners are committed to virtual meetings and trainings. The training plan and objectives to reach for this year are now agreed upon, and coaches are keen to start the first sessions still this month.
Stay tuned! We will keep you posted about the first results and quick wins for the service improvement in the Ivoirian cashew kernel sector.