WASHINGTON, April 10, 2018--The World Bank today approved a $200 million loan to help Côte d’Ivoire increase cashew productivity, quality and promote the cashew processing industry in the country.
About 225,000 cashew farmers will benefit directly from the Cashew Value-Chain Competitiveness Project’s (CVCCP) interventions. Beneficiaries also include cashew enterprises ranging from small-scale processing units to larger industrial processing facilities with a capacity of 3,000 to 10,000 tons per year, as well as small and medium enterprises involved in storing raw cashew nuts. The investments are expected to generate around 12,000 direct jobs, of which 50 percent are for women.
“Cashew is one of the main sources of smallholders’ income and the center-piece of the Côte d’Ivoire’s major farming systems, involving about 2 million people located mainly in the poorer northern part of the country where it has become the most important source of rural cash income,” said Pierre Laporte, World Bank Country Director for Côte d’Ivoire. “By developing the cashew value chains and strengthening its integration into global markets, the new project has big potentials to generate inclusive rural employment through farming and industrialization, thereby contributing to poverty reduction.”
Côte d’Ivoire is currently the world’s first exporter and second producer of raw cashew nuts, with a production of 711,000 tons in 2017, representing 23% of global production. The value of cashew exports for the country is estimated $800 million, making cashew the third most important export commodity after cocoa and refined petroleum products, well ahead of rubber, cotton and coffee. But the cashew value chain is stymied by several constraints, especially processing.
The new Cashew Value-Chain Competitiveness Project (CVCCP) will help improve the organization and governance of the cashew value chain to reduce marketing costs and enhance competitiveness and inclusiveness of small-scale farmers. By promoting cashew research and seedling development, supporting extension services and technology transfers, and by rehabilitating and maintaining feeder roads, CVCCP will help increase on-farm cashew productivity and access to the market for raw cashew nuts. Finally, CVCCP will support private investment in post-harvest and processing infrastructure to increase the volume and value addition of locally processed cashew through an integrated mix of interventions at three levels: (i) storage and processing infrastructure; (ii) access to investment capital and risk management instruments; and (iii) development of markets and trade.
The new project is aligned with Côte d’Ivoire’s National Development Plan (2016-2020) and with the National Agriculture Investment Program, both of which include the development of the cashew value chain as a national priority. It is also in line with the World Bank’s Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Côte d’Ivoire which addresses issues related to low productivity and job creation in agriculture, agribusiness and manufacturing value chains.