• Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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African Cashew Alliance taps Cambodia to boost cashew output

African Cashew Alliance taps Cambodia to boost cashew output

In a move to boost Africa’s cashew production, the African Cashew Alliance has partnered with Cambodia on cashew growth and development across the continent.

Within 10 years, Cambodia has increased its production of cashew five-fold, according to data from the African Cashew Alliance, Cote d’Ivoire is the only African country that currently produces more nuts than Cambodia.

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Three key factors, according to experts, have helped Cambodia grow its cashews consistently; the use of high-yield varieties, the availability of large areas suitable for cashews with efficient farming methods, and a readily available and closer buyer – Vietnam.

Tola Faseru, president of the African Cashew Alliance led the delegation to sign a memorandum of Understanding with the Cashewnut Association of Cambodia in February 2024 for collaboration and cooperation on Cashew growth and development, covering areas of research, science and technology sharing and transfer, training and exchange of scientists.

Cambodia is the second largest supplier of Cashew in the world, with the world’s best quality and yield per hectare.

“With this MoU signing, it is expected that Africa will be able to double its production and productivity in five years,” Faseru, who is also the commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Osun State, said.

According to him, Africa produces about 60 percent of the world’s total raw cashew output currently. He noted that the African production figure stands at 2.8 million metric tons (MMT) with Ivory Coast taking the lead with 1.2MMT, followed by Nigeria with 320,000MT and Tanzania in the third position with a production of 270,000MT

“The collaboration will bring the production level to about five million tons. The productivity per hectare will increase from the present 400 – 500kg per hectare to two metric tons per hectare,” he said.

He noted that the quality bar is expected to increase from 51kor to 54kor. “All of these mean an increase in yield and increase in farmer income and improved livelihood.”

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“This also will help Africa prepare for more raw cashew nuts needed to feed the increasing processing capacity both in Africa and globally at large.”

Faseru stated that for Africa to achieve great heights in its economy, agriculture is the low-hanging fruit and up-scaling its output is key and the very strategic option to take.

“This is in tandem with the economies of scale principle. The implication is that our research institutes and other cashew organisations in Africa can ride on the MoU,” he added.