News

Developing new perspectives for sustainable development – The Exposure and Dialogue Programme for decision-makers.
10.12.2014

Developing new perspectives for sustainable development – The Exposure and Dialogue Programme for decision-makers.

“In December 2011, I had the opportunity to take part in the Exposure and Dialogue Programme-Social Impulses through the Cotton Trade. I stayed in Malawi as a guest of small farmers and I got to know extremely friendly, wise and self-assured people, who with great care cultivate their fields, send their children to school and who try to use their opportunities to improve their living conditions [...] What have I got out of this EDP? The experience to get to know wonderful people. An experience which helps me to realize what really matters. Insights into a model of an adjusted rural development, which enables the producers to increase their productivity, to make higher profits and to leave the level of mere subsistence. But I also learned that whoever takes care of the cultivation of cotton in Malawi will not be successful in the long run, unless he also takes care of the world trade relations.”

(Eberhard Neugebohrn, Member of the Advisory Committee of the EDP e.V.; Manager, Foundation of Environment and Development North- Rhine-Westphalia)

 “Before going on this trip exploring Social Impulses through Trade in Cotton, I had wondered what I was doing. After all, I knew about issues of cotton production and trade. As a consultant on ethical and fair trade, I spend much of my working time focusing on textiles and apparel. […] But we learn through doing [...] What became clear to me during this trip was that what really would make the biggest difference to the farmers is not just farming support but knowing in advance what price they are going to get. The farmers, up at dawn, working hard, are dependent for income on the vagaries of the global commodity trade. The Fairtrade system has its flaws but with its committed supply chains and guaranteed price it does offer farmers the opportunity to plan, to take back some control over their lives. I thank my host family for inspiring me with their fortitude and their smiles. “
(Clara Lissamann, Director, Ethical Fashion Consultancy)

Excerpts from EDP’s Insights, Issue No. 11, April 2012

 "Great project, but I already know a lot about this topic and I have been working in this sector for a while. I know very well what you are dealing with"; this is one of the most often heard responses when approaching experts to take part in the Exposure and Dialogue Programme. However, after participation in the EDP the feed-back from participants is different: most of them, like Clara Lissamann, acquire a new perspective on their responsibilities and renewed motivation for their daily work. The stories above testify to the positive effect that the EDP has on participants.

 ‘We learn through doing’.

The Exposure and Dialogue Programme is a uniquely designed tool which facilitates inductive learning. Especially developed for executives and decision-makers with tight schedules and management responsibilities, the programme offersparticipants a change of perspective which provides them with new insights and helps them to reflect on institutional and personal working strategies. They begin to seek sustainable ways to effect positive change, bringing them to the point of questioning if they have adequately made use of their acquired knowledge and skills.

 Social and Economic Impulses through the Cashew-Industry in Ghana

In this regard, from the 7th to 14th February, 2015, ACi and the Exposure and Dialogue Programme Association are organizing an EDP with the topic, "Social and Economic Impulses through the Cashew-Industry in Ghana". Together with other decision-makers from the business sector, politics, science, media and civil society, participants live and work in Ghanaian family homes of well-prepared, selected cashew farmers or local processors for three days and nights. They immerse in the living environment of their host and his/her family (Exposure) as they get involved in everyday activities of their household. Such encounters and personal experiences provide the basis for a solid reality check, which will be deepened in subsequent phases of Reflection in small groups and a concluding Dialogue Workshop with national and international practitioners and experts in Accra. This group of multidisciplinary decision-makers and experts may even strike up strategic alliances with other institutions and individuals.

Are you interested in participating in this programme?

Please click below for further information.

Social Impulses through the Cashew-Industry in Ghana



Agrofood West Africa 2014: GIZ seminar on “Packaging and Food Safety in the Ghanaian Agriculture and Food Industry”
08.12.2014

Agrofood West Africa 2014: GIZ seminar on “Packaging and Food Safety in the Ghanaian Agriculture and Food Industry”

The  seminar which was jointly organised by three GIZ projects namely; Market Oriented Agriculture Project (MOAP), African Cashew initiative (ACi) and the Affordable Nutritious Foods for women project (ANF4W) covered topics on post-harvest handling of commodities and food products, food processing and packaging and implementing international standards in the food industry. Industry experts from organizations such as Agric Engineering Services, Blue Skies, Food and Drugs Authority, Food Research Institute of Ghana, Ghana Standard Authority, HPW, Institute for Packaging, Nestlé, Peelco Fruits, SmartCert, Traque, Unilever and Yedent made presentations and were part of a panel of discussion on featured topics. Participants from different sectors contributed with much enthusiasm to the discussion making it a successful event.

In addition, MOAP and ACi exhibited materials on their various project activities at their stand. Healthy life and the HPW fresh and dry companies also treated participants to samples of their products as they also exhibited assorted juices and drinks and dry fruits at their respective stands.

GIZ seminar on “Packaging and Food Safety in the Ghanaian Agriculture and Food Industry”

3rd International Trade Show on Agriculture & Livestock, Food, Beverage & Packaging Technology and Food, Beverages & Hospitality

 



National Farmers Day 2014 - Raising Cashew Farmer Livelihoods in Ghana
05.12.2014

National Farmers Day 2014 - Raising Cashew Farmer Livelihoods in Ghana

Through farmer trainings, and innovative programs such as the ACi cashew Matching fund and the Master Trainers program, the African Cashew initiative helps farmers in improving the quantity and quality of cashew produced and ensuring sustainable linkage throughout the value chain. Eventually, farmers’ livelihoods are improved and they benefit from their labour.

One of such farmers who have benefitted from ACi interventions is Alhaji Siaka. Alhaji lives in Bonakere, a community outside of Sampa on the border to Côte d’Ivoire. About 20 years ago, Alhaji planted his first cashew trees on a modest 5 hectares plot. Ever since he has increased his farm bit by bit. The income from his farm helped to improve his livelihood and now Alhaji is able to send his children to school.

Read about the story of Alhaji – King of cashew and also about farmer Yeboah Yesuanaa; "Cashew makes me a role model"



Promoting cashew processing and consumption in Africa; SIETTA 2014 sets the stage
04.12.2014

Promoting cashew processing and consumption in Africa; SIETTA 2014 sets the stage

The three day event which was organized by the Cotton and Cashew Council (CCA) of Ivory Coast, under the patronage of the President of the National Assembly and in association with the Ministry of Industry and Mines and the Ministry of Agriculture provided an opportunity for stakeholders to experience and learn about cutting-edge technologies and modern trends in cashew processing, business and investment opportunities in the sector and also to network with other industry players.

At the opening ceremony the Prime minister of Ivory Coast, Daniel Kablan Duncan, noted the benefits of local cashew processing and encouraged banks and financial investors to invest in the sector while proposing that the SIETTA be organized every two years.

ACi congratulates organizers of the event, their partners, stakeholders and participants for a successful SIETTA 2014.



Brussels 29 October 2014 / Open Day at the African Caribbean Pacific Secretariat:
02.12.2014

Brussels 29 October 2014 / Open Day at the African Caribbean Pacific Secretariat:

For the fifth consecutive year, the Department of Sustainable Economic Development and Trade hosted its Open Day in order to provide a forum to share the successes achieved and challenges encountered during project implementation. Furthermore, the 5th Open Day also served to inform all ACP Embassies and Missions about how their respective countries and regions have benefitted and /or can benefit from implementation of ACP projects.

This Open Day brought together representatives from ACP Embassies, Missions and Regional Organizations as well as representatives from the ACP Project Management Units and other facilities in a successful effort to strengthen partnership, identify synergies and linkages and promote an integrated approach leading to an efficient use of resources.  Beyond presentations which were structured around four clusters: (i) Trade related programmes, (ii) Agricultural Capacity building programmes, (iii) Investment and Private Sector related programmes, and (iv) Environment related programmes the ACP organized exposition stands in the reception hall. GIZ was invited to present its Commodities Programme taking the example of Cocoa in West & Central Africa in the plenary as well as exhibiting  its engagement in the hall.

ACi represented at the Open Day

After two visits to the ACP Secretariat in May and September, ACi took the opportunity to present the initiative in the context of agricultural capacity building programs during the Open Day.

At a booth, ACi and GIZ as a German Development Institution were presented to numerous visitors from Ambassies and international organisations in/for ACP countries. The value chain based concept of the African Cashew initiative in general and its cooperation with the private sector, be it in the frame of the Cashew Matching Fund or the cooperation with SAP met high interest and raised curiosity for further in-sight information.  The following manifold fruitful discussions indicate high potential for intensive cooperation with the Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States Secretariat. 

Other GIZ presentations

Information about Farmer Business Schools and background information about agricultural programs within the GIZ, also met high demand. In the frame of the programme  Agricultural Capacity Building Programmes, the ACi Executive Director, Rita Weidinger, held a presentation about the Cocoa-Food Linkage Programme West & Central Africa. This presentation gave a broad overview about the project and its approach to support the value chain development, including market access and income generation for smallholders, business services as well as business approaches and links between cocoa farming and food companies. At the end of the presentation other commodity programs including cashew nuts were demonstrated as further examples of successful GIZ cooperation in the context of sustainable value chain development.



Agrofood West Africa 2014; the 2nd International Trade Show on Agriculture & Livestock, Food, Beverage & Packaging Technology and Food, Beverages & Hospitality
28.11.2014

Agrofood West Africa 2014; the 2nd International Trade Show on Agriculture & Livestock, Food, Beverage & Packaging Technology and Food, Beverages & Hospitality

As part of this event, GIZ Ghana is hosting a seminar on “Packaging and Food Safety in the Ghanaian Agriculture and Food Industry” scheduled for December 03, 2014 from 1pm to 5pm. The seminar is jointly organized by Market- Oriented Agricultural Programme (MOAP), African Cashew initiative (ACi) and Affordable Nutritious Foods for Women (ANF4W). Various experts from the agriculture and agro processing sector will discuss topics of interest to the sector including post-harvest handling of commodities and food products, food processing and packaging as well as implementing international standards in the food industry.

 

Join us and participate in Agrofood West Africa 2014 Trade Show.

For more information, please follow the links below

 http://www.agrofood-westafrica.com/agrofoodwa.html

http://www.agrofood-westafrica.com/agrofood_giz_seminar.html



21 days more to SIETTA 2014
04.11.2014

21 days more to SIETTA 2014

10 facts about SIETTA 2014

  1. SIETTA is being organized by the Cotton and Cashew Council (CCA) of Ivory Coast, in association with the Ministry of Industry and Mines and the Ministry of Agriculture.
  2. It aims to promote cashew processing equipment and innovative technology
  3. It will bring together cashew processors, processing equipment manufacturers, investors, businessmen, government officials and other cashew sector actors.
  4. Investors will be informed about finance mechanisms and incentives to establish a processing factory at B2B meetings and workshops that will be organized at SIETTA
  5. In a bid to encourage local consumption of cashew kernels and cashew by-products participants will have the opportunity to taste high quality cashew kernels, by-products and cashew dishes.
  6. Over 5000 local visitors and 500 international visitors are expected
  7. More than 20 exhibitors will show and demonstrate the capacity of various high tech processing equipment and technologies.
  8. Ivory Coast is the second largest and fastest growing producer of raw cashew nuts.
  9. The Cotton and Cashew Council (CCA) is a government agency established to coordinate and promote activities in the cashew sector.
  10. Other partners of SIETTA 2014 are the African Cashew Alliance (ACA), the African Cashew initiative (ACi), Bollore Africa Logistics, Ivorian Society of Tropical Technology (i2T) and the Technology Demonstration and Promotion Center.

 Read more:

Graphic online: SIETTA 2016 takes off Nov. 26

Ghanaweb: SIETTA 2016 takes off Nov. 26

Be a part of the International Cashew processing Equipment and Technology show 2014



Africa Day of Food and Nutrition Security. Cheers to an “Accelerated Action for a Hunger Free Africa”
30.10.2014

Africa Day of Food and Nutrition Security. Cheers to an “Accelerated Action for a Hunger Free Africa”

The Africa Day for Food and Nutrition Security (ADFNS) was first commemorated on October 2010 at the AU Summit in Kampala, Uganda to sensitize policy makers and attract new commitments toward achieving food and nutrition security targets.

ACi believes that one way of ensuring food and nutrition security in Africa is to sustainably develop local value chains to make them more competitive internationally. This can be achieved by higher productivity, increased local processing to add value locally, more trade of semi or fully processed products and by encouraging the consumption of locally produced goods.

Cashew is gradually becoming more important in Africa. Although quite common in various areas, many people are neither aware of its economic nor nutritional benefits.

Did you know that:

  • Cashew nuts contain less fat than peanuts or other common snack nuts and the fats in cashew are heart-healthy monounsaturated fat called oleic acid (similar to that in olive oil).
  • Cashew nuts are considered the lowest calorie nuts and have a lower fat content than most other nuts.
  • The fat found in cashew can also help reduce triglyceride levels in diabetics
  • The cashew apple is a versatile fruit rich in vitamin C and according to studies conducted its juice successfully prevent mutagenesis (i.e. Formation or development of a mutation), a condition which can lead to cancer or other genetic diseases.
  • Consumption of a small amount of cashew nuts daily reduces the risk of heart disease.
  • Cashew nuts can be incorporated into several local and continental dishes to increase their overall health benefits.
  • Cashew apples can be processed into drinks, brandy, jam and other dishes.

 



Awarded:GIZ is awarded with a prize at the International Certification Conference
09.10.2014

Awarded:GIZ is awarded with a prize at the International Certification Conference

The aim was, to offer a room for knowledge and experience exchange regarding the certification of agricultural products and to define a common line of approach for the future application of sustainability standards. At the conference which was organized by the Ministry for Agriculture and Trade and the Conseil du Café et Cacao, government representatives, organizations for international cooperation, producers, exporters and processors discussed on the topic of “Sustainable Agriculture: Obstacles and Perspective of Certification”.

The GIZ was as well present with some representatives who made a major contribution with their presentations about the topics sustainability and standards. With their presentation about “Certificated Sustainability: Obstacle for Small Scale Farmers or a Tool for Improved Sustainability?” Eberhard Krain from the KC Agricultural Trade and Standards and Jean Marie Coulibaly from the program rural economic development and biodiversity in the Côte d’Ivoire offered the participants an inside in the international, regional and Africa wide experiences of the GIZ with certificated sustainability. Within the presentation the results of a recent survey by the GIZ sector network for rural development in Africa (SNRD Africa) was presented. In the aftermath of the presentations Mary Adzanyo from the African Cashew initiative (ACi) had the opportunity to present the experiences of the GIZ with the certification of Cashews in West Africa during the working group sessions and thus to enrich the discussion with illustrative examples.

Obviously the quality and the content of the presentations by the GIZ experts made a great impression on the participants of the ICC. On the last day of the conference the GIZ was awarded with the “Prix ICC 2014” for the best organization. A confirmation of the excellent work on international quality the GIZ is doing in the field of sustainable certification!

 

By Sabine Diallo

GIZ



Plant a Cashew Tree - Revive Legon Botanical Garden
14.08.2014

Plant a Cashew Tree - Revive Legon Botanical Garden

In a nutshell, the University of Ghana gave parts of the 123 acres of Legon Botanical Gardens to Pine Springs Ltd in 2008 to develop a leisure space and to organize sensitization programs on the environment and the benefits of nature such as herbal medicine, fresh and cool air, recreation, etc. The project is planned for 35 years, which can afterwards be extended for another 15 years. As the vegetation in the park is gradually deteriorating, the University of Ghana, Pine Springs Ltd, private companies and individuals volunteered to plant over 700 trees since the beginning of 2014 until today. Recently, the Dutch Private Sector Initiative accorded a grant for rehabilitating, fencing and other essential infrastructure in the botanical garden. Also the African Cashew initiative (ACi) with its partners in Ghana, jointly work to promote cashew planting and tree productivity. In this regard, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) have developed improved cashew varieties to increase cashew yields in Ghana to over 1 ton/ha, compared to 300-400 kg/ha on non-selected trees.

“Planting a tree, is planting a hope.” With these encouraging words, Mr. Siegfried Leffler - Country Director of the German Development Corporation (GIZ), Mr. Seth Osei-Akoto - Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Asirifi - Department of Botany, University of Ghana, Legon, Mr. Abu Dadzie - Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana and Mr. Nii Apa Ahinakwah - OLAM, followed the invitation of ACi Executive Director - Rita Weidinger and Pine Springs Ltd. Manager - Kofi Boakye Yiadom to plant cashew trees to recover the Botanical Garden at University of Ghana, Legon. In their speeches, the dignitaries highlighted the importance of improved cashew seedling development and the economic benefits of the cashew nut. Since 2009, the African Cashew initiative together with its partners has trained about 60.000 cashew farmers in Ghana. As a result, cashew households have more than doubled their income from cashew growing alone. Also, cashew processor OLAM in cooperation with CRIG and ACi distributed 82,000 improved cashew seedlings to increase cashew yields for farmers in the Brong-Ahafo Region. In this frame and to encourage individuals to take responsibility for a greener urban - and more prosperous rural – Ghana, each participant planted one cashew seedling. In total, the dignitaries, GIZ project representatives and ACi staff planted 23 cashew seedlings to honor our joint accomplishments in the cashew sector.

Cashew project to revive Legon Botanical gardens



SIETTA 2014 - The International Cashew Processing Equipment & Technology Show
01.08.2014

SIETTA 2014 - The International Cashew Processing Equipment & Technology Show

“SIETTA 2014 offers an opportunity for manufacturers of food and agro processing equipment to show & sell their machines and to access the huge potential of the African cashew sector, with a special focus on Côte d’Ivoire. In various forums on topics around cashew processing technologies, food safety, the cashew market, management skills, doing business in Côte d’Ivoire, as well as finance & business planning, participants shall listen to different experts in the sector and raise questions for a successful cashew processing business.” - Malamine Sanogo, CEO of the Cotton and Cashew Council (CCA)

Objectives for SIETTA 2014:

1. Promote cashew processing equipment and innovative technology:

Participants and prospective investors will be informed about the success factors to establish a profitable cashew processing business in Côte d’Ivoire and Africa.

2. Support potential investors to finance and set up their businesses in Côte d’Ivoire:

Prospective investors will be informed about finance mechanisms and incentives to establish a processing factory. In B2B meetings and workshops with national and international experts, you get a comprehensive overview of the global cashew processing industry.

3. Encourage national consumption of cashew kernels and cashew by-products:

Participants and prospective investors will have the opportunity to taste high quality cashew kernels, by-products and cashew dishes from all over the world.

Take the opportunity to “SHOW & SELL” Cashew Processing Equipment in Côte d’Ivoire and look forward to:

  • 5000 local visitors.
  • 500 international visitors.
  • 20 new processing projects in the advanced planning stage with more on the way.
  • Investors, equipment buyers, sponsors and bankers from all over the world.
  • Discuss investment and funding possibilities, smart investment and what makes cashew processing profitable.
  • Demonstrations of cashew processing machines of all shapes and sizes suitable for high tech., large or small scale applications. Upwards of 20 demonstrating exhibitors are expected.

Do business with African stakeholders and learn about the Ivorian and African cashew processing industry. Share and compare your experiences to set up a business in Côte d’Ivoire and other African countries!

Don’t be a hard nut to crack. Be part of the growing African and Global Cashew industry, whilst enjoying the beautiful tourist sites of Côte d’Ivoire.

Contact us and Sign up now!

Infoline +225 22 52 75 80, +225 55 55 86 28, +225 47 01 01 70,

Email: info@sietta2014.com or visit our website: www.sietta2014.com

 



The Master Training Program ends, but the cashew learning journey has only begun.
25.07.2014

The Master Training Program ends, but the cashew learning journey has only begun.

The third and final session of the Master Training Program took place from 14th to 18th July, 2014 in Sunyani, the Brong-Ahafo region and main cashew growing zone in Ghana. The seven months program offered the 57 participants a wide variety of knowledge on cashew, a platform to share their knowledge, discuss best practices and to build national and regional exchange networks for future collaboration. This time around the event was chaired by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA). Resource persons and facilitators included experts from the Cocoa Research institute of Ghana (CRIG), Esoko – a private enterprise that develops communication platforms to help you manage agricultural value chains, Farm Radio international – a Canadian charity that developed rural radio programs to fight poverty and food insecurity, the African Cashew Alliance (ACA) and the African Cashew initiative (ACi). Together, they developed this comprehensive last session, which took participants through topics such as the economics of cashew production and processing, methods for data collection, the development of rural radio programs, improved planting material development, perception management among others. Thanks to the close cooperation with MoFA, participants got the opportunity to visit the cashew research station in Wenchi, where cashew experts from MOFA and CRIG shared their extensive knowledge on improved planting material development. Afterwards the participants met two lead farmers who have successfully applied recommended practices on their fields, resulting in higher yields and more income.

MTP III Photo gallery

The last day of the program was crowned with a Graduation Ceremony and farewell dinner. This highly anticipated event was attended by the Deputy Regional Minister, Brong-Ahafo Region, Country Director of GIZ, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries in Benin, Regional Officer of Agriculture Brong-Ahafo Region, MoFA, Officer of Group Processing, Ministry of Trade and Industry, and the Director Ghana Export Promotions Authority Kumasi, Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo Regions. All guests shared the same opinion in their speeches. The Master Training Program participants went through extensive training with skilled facilitators and resource personnel and have the great potential to continue promoting the cashew value chain when they return to their various host institutions and organizations. They are expected to multiply the existing expertise on cashew as they transfer their gained knowledge to colleagues and co-workers in their home countries.

Please click here

As part of the graduation ceremony, the invited guests handed over certificates to signify participants’ successful participation in the MTP and to acknowledge their learning journeys. Rita Weidinger and GIZ Country Director Siegfried Leffler also acknowledged those participants who have been working in the cashew sector under ACi and/or GIZ. A special citation of appreciation went to Mrs Eleanor Swatson, who was honored with a bronze cashew for her long commitment to the cashew sector in Ghana and beyond.

For more on the graduation ceremony, click here

You can also visit our photo gallery or join us on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/africancashewinitiative for more updates.

 



Cooperating for Sustainable Development
05.07.2014

Cooperating for Sustainable Development

This year’s International Cooperatives Day scheduled to take place on the 5th of July is themed, “Cooperative enterprises achieve sustainable development for all”. The day was instituted by the International cooperative alliance in partnership with the United Nations, to increase awareness of the role of cooperatives and to promote its ideals.

The African Cashew initiative (ACi) since its establishment in 2009, has been working with its partners to promote the competitiveness of African cashew production and to reduce poverty by organising and building a sustainable African cashew sector. ACi interventions focus on sustainable development in its member countries and acknowledge the role of farmer cooperatives in achieving its goals.

Sustainable interventions

ACi monitoring has shown that organized farmers such as farmer cooperatives produce better quality nuts and sell higher quantities than individual farmers and also sell their produce at a price is 10% higher than that of individual farmers. With projects in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Benin, Burkina Faso and Mozambique, ACi works with farmer cooperatives mainly in the areas of training, sector organization and supply chain linkage:

Training: Farmer groups and cooperatives receive training in various topics including Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), harvest and postharvest handling of crops, as well as maintenance, establishment of new farms and cooperative management. Production in these areas has seen a major boost as farmers practice what they have been taught and pass lessons learned on to their colleagues. For example, according to a survey conducted in 2013, farmers’ adoption of fire belts to prevent burning of the orchards is significantly above 90% in all five member countries.

Sector organization:  ACi is involved in the organisation of the cashew sector in its five member countries, stimulating the growth of organisations and farmer cooperatives in the cashew sector while empowering them to effect the formulation of favourable governmental policies in the sector.

Supply chain linkages: In September 2012, ACi launched an innovative project to accelerate the development of the cashew sector and to leverage contributions from farmer cooperatives, buyers and/or retailers, processors as well as public research institutions. The so-called Cashew Matching Fund supports activities in the areas of supply chain linkage, meaning farmer-processor linkages and farmer organization as well as the development of improved planting material.

The results so far have included: 24,275 farmers linked to processors and end markets; 47% of Raw Cashew Nuts (RCN) used by processors are sourced directly from farmers or farmer groups; enhanced research and dissemination of high yielding seedlings to farmers;   increased quality of nuts and farmer yields; 10,772 hectares of land newly planted with cashew (and other intercrops); increased farmer incomes, reduced transaction costs and costs of intermediaries; enhanced knowledge transfer to farmers and; sustainable growth in production and farmer linkage and sustainable cashew supply chain in Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso and Mozambique. Strong business linkages, higher farm productivity as well as increased and steady farmer income are only few of the remarkable outcomes of Matching Fund activities. Moreover, through interventions of FairMatch Support (FMS), one of ACi’s partners, over 30,000 farmers have their produce reaching high-end specialty markets like Organic and Fairtrade.

These interventions empower smallholders to sustainably improve their livelihoods, food security and to reduce poverty as a whole.

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) make cooperatives sustainable.

ACi believes that individual farmers as well as farmer cooperatives, when provided with the necessary resources, can greatly benefit from cashew production and multiply their household incomes. One of these resources is the access to information and communication technologies (ICT) to improve the delivery and effectiveness of high amounts of data and information to and from smallholder farmers, making their transactions less cumbersome and ensuring reliability of the supply chain at the same time.

The partnership between the African Cashew initiative and the German software company, SAP, commenced in 2011 with a goal to provide smallholder farmers with ICT applications that enable them to do collaborative business in a transparent and sustainable way.

The pilot project which was first introduced to the Wenchi Farmer Cooperative in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana, electronically tracks all relevant business transactions in the field such as pre-finance, farmer registration, crop receipt, logistics and payments. The primary value proposition is the creation of a reliable supply chain, based on long-term trading relations, where bottlenecks can easily be identified and addressed.

This system has helped farmers to improve their organizational efficiency, to ensure transparency of business operations and to run detailed data analysis. Ultimately, it helps farmers to access profitable markets more easily. Buyers on the other hand are able to plan and forecast their trading more accurately, enabling reliable and trusted business relationships with farmers. It has also made it possible for buyers to source from smallholder producers who have previously been largely excluded from formal trading systems. By building a trustful business relationship with the buyer, the farmer becomes more integrated into the buyer’s supply chain and is more likely to repeatedly sell to this buyer: the farmer is now registered, learns techniques to improve quality and has better access to finance. When a farmer can prove that he has an ongoing buying contract, he can use it as collateral to receive a loan from a local bank. On the other hand, the buyer can purchase predictable amounts of produce at a stable quality each year. In the long run, the system maintains good business relationship between farmers, farmer cooperatives and buyers.

In addition, ACi has also provided farmers with interactive farmer trainings on topics such as proper harvest and post-harvest techniques through short message service (sms) and radio messages. These tailor-made training messages developed through the collaborative work of extension workers, farmers and other actors reach over 20,000 cashew farmers during the cropping season.

Already in its second phase, the African Cashew initiative is on the path to achieving sustainable development. By working with farmer cooperatives and implementing interventions to increase farmers’ competitiveness, African cashew farmers are being empowered to reduce poverty and increase development sustainably.

 



ACA becomes ACi Core Partner
13.06.2014

ACA becomes ACi Core Partner

In the recent months, the African Cashew Alliance ambitiously revised their cashew strategy for 2014 to 2016. Given this new strategy, the ACA plans to share their valuable insights with ACi partners to facilitate strategic descisions for a growing African cashew sector and the achievement of ACi objectives. It is in this frame that the ACA becomes actively involved in the ACi Core Partner Committee.

The ACi is looking forward to join hands and to engage in a higher level of cooperation with the ACA.



SIETTA 2014 Launch – The International Cashew Processing Event in 2014
13.06.2014

SIETTA 2014 Launch – The International Cashew Processing Event in 2014

The Ivorian Cotton and Cashew Council (CCA) under the Ministry of Mining and Industry, and the Ministry of Agriculture, officially launched SIETTA 2014 to be held from 26th to 28th November at Palais des Sports Treichville in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

For three days, SIETTA 2014 offers food and agro processing equipment manufacturers an opportunity to Show & Sell their machines and to access the huge potential of the African cashew sector, with a special focus on Côte d’Ivoire. SIETTA 2014 is the international exhibition to promote cashew processing equipment and technology and is expected to attract 500 international processors, investors, and professionals across the cashew sector as well as 5000 local visitors including banks, entrepreneurs, and processors. This unique event offers a platform to exchange with actors across the cashew value chain, to create and extend business networks when meeting prospective investors and customers from all over the world.  At SIETTA 2014 you can do business with the right people in the right place and now is the right time for Africa’s cashew sector. 

As the world’s second largest cashew producer and the fastest growing producer of raw cashew nuts worldwide, Côte d'Ivoire is welcoming prospective investors and visitors to the beautiful city of Abidjan, which is among the safest and most hospitable cities in Africa. With its safe and stable business environment, Côte d’Ivoire is one of the fastest emerging countries in Africa.

The Ivorian Cotton and Cashew Council (CCA) works in close cooperation with the African Cashew initiative (ACi) in organizing this exhibition. In order to attract a large international audience to Show & Sell their equipment, SIETTA 2014 offers a wide range of special premium packages for exhibiters with large, medium and small scale equipment, and also for national and international companies to display their information materials on multimedia stands. Tell us what you need and we make it work!

For more information in SIETTA 2014, please contact info@SIETTA2014.com or visit the SIETTA 2014 website under www.SIETTA2014.com



Devenir un formateur des formateurs ; Le profile d’un formateur.
11.06.2014

Devenir un formateur des formateurs ; Le profile d’un formateur.

Apres le succès des premières et deuxièmes sessions du MTP, la troisième aura lieu à Sunyani, dans la région de Brong-Ahafo qui est la principale zone de production du cajou au Ghana.

A la fin de cette session, les participants seront certifiés formateurs et auront un effet multiplicateur sur la filière de cajou en partageant les connaissances.

Adèle fait partie  de ces participants. Voilà, ses expériences quant au  Programme de Formation pour la Maîtrise de la Promotion de Chaînes de Valeur du Cajou Africain.

 

Profil D’Adèle R.OUEDRAOGO; Une Formatrice De Formateurs

Quelle est votre parcours professionnel?
J’ai suivi une formation d’ingénieur du développement rural, option agronomie stage laboratoire phytopathologie. J’ai aussi un diplôme approfondi en science du sol, collaboration INERA et uni Bobo, stage sur la fertilisation du coton enquêtes : rendement iCA, sur riz avec INERA

Quand avez-vous rejoins iCA?
Aout 2013

Quelles ont été vos tâches et responsabilités au sein d’iCA?  Que retenez-vous du temps passé à iCA?
Agent de terrain : assurer l’ intérim du  point focal à Bobo-Dioulasso, préparation des formations sur les bonnes pratiques de récolte et post récolte et d’entretien de vergers d’anacarde, élaboration et suivi des contrats de subvention locale, préparation et suivi des formations, préparation de première session MTP, capitalisation d’iCA.

Vous avez rejoint le MASA récemment. Comment s’est passé votre intégration  au MASA ?
Le MASA a lancé un concours de recrutement de 7 Ingénieurs du développement rural, en décembre 2013, et après avoir pris part à ce concours, j’ai été admise.

Quelles sont vos tâches et responsabilités au MASA?
Plusieurs Services, mais ce n’est pas encore clair, je souhaite être affectée  à une des DRASA de la zone de production de cajou

Qu’es ce que vous avez le plus aimez en travaillant dans le secteur du Cajou?
J’aime bien les formations des producteurs. Au début, les producteurs de cajou n’avaient pas assez connaissance sur la production de cajou. Mais, les formations ont eu un impact grand sur la production et sur les habitudes des producteurs.

Qu’es ce que vous avez trouvez être comme défis à relever en travaillant dans le secteur du Cajou ?
Commercialisation: le système n'est pas bien organisé. Des réunions entre les producteurs et les transformateurs sont indispensables .Il faut de ces réunions pour déterminer des prix favorables pour tous les acteurs. Aussi, il n’y a pas encore système pour améliorer le prix du cajou de haute qualité, cela n’encourage pas les producteurs  à appliquer le  BPA.

Vous faite partie du programme iCA/ACA des maitres formateurs, Quelle appréciation faite vous du programme? Qu’es ce que vous trouvez le plus enrichissant et le plus captivant concernant le programme ? Qu’es qui était nouveau pour vous ou un défi ?
L’appréciation que je fais de ce programme, est qu’il permet la mise en place d’un pool d’expert dans les pays membres, qui va pérenniser les acquis et les activités du projet. Ce qui m’a le plus captivé, c’est la définition du concept « chaine de valeur ajoutée ».

Comment envisagez- vous intégrer votre expérience/Connaissance/Réseau que vous avez obtenu en travaillant avec iCA et en faisant partie du MTP dans votre nouveau travail au sein du MASA ?
J’envisage faire des propositions concrètes au MASA, pour une organisation de la filière cajou au Burkina Faso. Aussi, je souhaite œuvrer à pérenniser les acquis du projet ICA.



Olam Ghana sets the pace in sustainable Corporate Social Responsibility
04.06.2014

Olam Ghana sets the pace in sustainable Corporate Social Responsibility

Olam International based in Singapore is a global leader in supply chain management and processing of agricultural products. For many years, Olam has sourced its high quality produce from about 65 countries and supplies them to over 11,600 customers all over the world. Olam Ghana was established in 1994 and began by exporting shea nuts and later, cashew, cocoa and cotton. Its commitment to sustainability and responsible growth accounts for its achievements.

Since 2013, Olam Ghana is ACi Matching Fund partner and engages in various activities to increase farmer income and raw cashew nut quality by distributing improved planting materials, organising farmer trainings and promoting farmer associations. Olam’s sustainability and social responsibility initiatives, which includes the Matching Fund projects, accounts for its accomplishment as Ghana’s leading exporter of raw cashew nuts and for receiving the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) award. The African Cashew initiative is proud to have Olam Ghana as a partner and congratulates its recent achievements.

Olam Ghana wins CSR award.



Vietnam soutien la filière anacarde Ivoirienne
23.05.2014

Vietnam soutien la filière anacarde Ivoirienne

A l’invitation de l’association Vietnamienne du cajou (VINACAS), le Conseil du Coton et de l’Anacarde (CCA) a participé à une conférence internationale sur la filière anacarde. Au cours de laquelle, la CCA a échangé avec le VINACAS de leurs expériences respectives, des enjeux et la possibilité de collaboration, afin d’améliorer la filière.  Le Directeur General de CCA, M. Malamine SANOGO a souligné les efforts fournit des opérateurs Ivoirien et de l’Etat tout en rassurant les industriels vietnamiens du soutien de la Cote d’Ivoire quant à une politique d’industrialisation progressive de la filière. Le CCA et VINACAS a signé un protocole d’accord de coopération pour consolider leur association. La conférence s’est terminée par une  exposition d’équipements de transformation et une occasion pour prendre des contacts en vue de l’organisation du Salon International des Equipements et Technologies de Transformation de l’Anacarde à Abidjan.

Voilà la redynamisation de la filière anacarde

En lire plus



Cashew – an opportunity for poverty reduction in ACP countries
22.05.2014

Cashew – an opportunity for poverty reduction in ACP countries

The demand for cashew nuts – the popular and nutritious snack and food source – is rising globally. With Africa turning out 1.2 million tons per year, the Africa Cashew Initiative (ACi) has highlighted the notable opportunities of cashew production and growing markets for the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (ACP).

In a presentation to ACP Secretary General H.E Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni and trade and commodity experts at the ACP Secretariat in Brussels last week, ACi Executive Director Rita Weidinger gave an overview of the untapped prospects in the ACP that could further boost economies and contribute to poverty reduction. After sharing these encouraging results of ACi's 5-years work, the ACP Secretary General stressed his commitment to further develop the cashew sector in ACP countries. The multistakeholder and multifunctional approach, as demonstrated by the African Cashew Initiative, shall be further upscaled within Africa and also extended to Carribean and Pacific countries. Given a secured market access and building in-country transformation, a structured value chain of the product will allow poverty alleviation for more than 1.5 million poor farmers.
 
For more information, please click here
 


Good harvest and strong prices for farmers in Benin
20.05.2014

Good harvest and strong prices for farmers in Benin

Since 2012 and as part of the ACi Matching Fund, Self help Africa in cooperation with cashew processor Tolaro Global has been training cashew farmers in Central Benin. Through the Pepsica project, they established a ‘model farm’ on which cashew farmers apply Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). After witnessing the benefits of such recommended practices, farmers were motivated to replicate these on their own farms. Today most cashew farmers in Central Benin are enjoying higher yields, stable prices and better incomes. Self help Africa hopes to extend this project to other regions.

For more information on the Pepsica project, click here



L’assurance de l’etat aux producteurs d’anacarde
15.05.2014

L’assurance de l’etat aux producteurs d’anacarde

Selon le directeur du Conseil du Coton et de l’Anacarde, M. Sanogo Malamine, << Le gouvernement est très attentif de l’évolution de la filière et donc nous ne laisserons personne perturber la reforme. >> En effet, le prix reste toujours à 225FCFA même si les exportateurs ne sont pas  favorable. Cette directive fait partie des mesures gouvernementales pour améliorer la filière.

Voilà le bilan à mi-parcours de la campagne 2014

Pour en savoir plus sur les efforts de gouvernement pour améliorer la filière, cliquez ici

 



Résolution du Programme de Formation pour la maitrise de la promotion des chaines de valeurs du cajou
13.05.2014

Résolution du Programme de Formation pour la maitrise de la promotion des chaines de valeurs du cajou

La clôture a été marquée par un diner sous le parrainage du Préfet de la Région de Gbeke, en compagnie du Sous-Préfet de Bouake, représentant du Maire de Bouake, du Directeur Régional de l`Agriculture de Gbeke, du Directeur General du Conseil du Coton et de l`Anacarde, la Directrice Exécutive de iCA et du représentant de ACA.

L`agenda des cinq jours comportait les méthodes de formation d`adultes, les opérations de récolte et de post récolte, les bonnes pratiques agricoles, les maladies et leur traitement, l`accès au financement, les systèmes d`information sur le marché, la transformation du cajou, la visite de l`usine de traitement du cajou de OLAM (la plus grande en Afrique) et le développement d`un plan de travail en termes de préparation des activités de la seconde intersession.

La prochaine session se déroulera du 14 au 19 Juillet 2014, a Sunyani, dans la région de BrongAhafo qui constitue la principale zone de production du Cajou au Ghana.

En lire plus ici



The Cashew Frontier in Guinea-Bissau
13.05.2014

The Cashew Frontier in Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau farmers are replacing shifting cultivation with cashew (Anacardium occidentale) orchards in response to international and national economic and conservation policies, local social changes and perceived increasing climate instability. However, changes from relative food self-provisioning to full dependence on one cash crop and from a complex mosaic of agricultural fields, fallows and forest patches to a homogenous landscape of cashew agroforests impacts both the natural environment and livelihoods. This article on the demise of shifting cultivation in the tropics contributes to the growing body of scholarship on land use-cover change (LUCC) and its multiplex global, national and local drivers, varying across time and space. Further, we argue that instead of adopting an approach exclusively focused on parks, conservation-oriented external interventions should engage with farmers in the development of innovations that both preserve forest ecosystems and enhance food security.



Faire connaissance avec les partenaires. Partager les connaissances. Lier le savoir théorique à des expériences pratiques.
16.04.2014

Faire connaissance avec les partenaires. Partager les connaissances. Lier le savoir théorique à des expériences pratiques.

La clôture de la seconde session a été marquée par un diner sous le parrainage du Préfet de la Région de Gbêke, en compagnie du Sous-Préfet de Bouaké, le représentant du Maire de Bouaké, du Directeur Régional de l`Agriculture de Gbêke, du Directeur General du Conseil du Coton et de l`Anacarde, la Directrice Exécutive d’iCA et du représentant de ACA.

Le programme de Formation pour la maitrise de la promotion des Chaines de valeurs du Cajou est une plateforme d`apprentissage au sein des pays de l`Afrique de l`Ouest où les experts des chaines de valeur du Cajou discutent des meilleures pratiques, partagent les leçons apprises, développent des partenariats et échangent les connaissances.  L`agenda des cinq jours comportait les méthodes de formation d`adultes, les opérations de récolte et de post récolte, les bonnes pratiques agricoles, les maladies et leur traitement, l`accès au financement, les systèmes d`information sur le marché, la transformation du cajou, la visite de l`usine de traitement du cajou de OLAM (la plus grande en Afrique) et le développement d`un plan de travail en terme  de préparation des activités de la seconde intersession. Les Facilitateurs et les experts formateurs ont fait des présentations, évalué  et adapté  chaque session  en relation avec les besoins des participants.

Entre la première session de Bobo tenue en Décembre 2013 et la présente session de Bouake, les participants ont réalisé des activités individuelles et en groupes de recherche sur des thèmes spécifiques concernant les chaines de valeur. Les Formateurs ont particulièrement exploité les rapports des revues par les paires durant le premier et le dernier jour de la formation. Cette approche a permis aux coaches et aux participants de partager et d`apprécier leur savoir-faire.

Pour la seconde intersession et la visite de terrain, huit groupes ont constitués avec les participants des différents pays ayant au préalable établi leurs plans de travail qui seront exécutés selon les différents thèmes des chaines de valeurs. Comme composante de l`intersession, l`élaboration des plans de travail constitue une des activités des participants. Dans ce cadre, les participants utiliseront des présentations simultanées, joueront des rôles interactifs et mèneront des discussions pour élaborer leurs plans de travail.

Pendant une séance d`échanges dans l`après-midi du vendredi, les participants ont fait part de leur appréciation sur les sessions interactives et les opportunités d`application des théories et des méthodes et  reçu des réactions directes de leurs collègues ainsi que de leurs coaches (session sur le KOR et la séparation de la noix de la pomme).

A la fin de la seconde session, les participants auront franchi une étape de plus pour être certifiés Formateurs sur la maitrise de la promotion des chaines de valeurs disposant d`une connaissance approfondie. Ayant la qualité de formateur des formateurs, les participants engendrent  un effet multiplicateur sur l`industrie du cajou en partageant les connaissances acquises au sein de leurs organisations et bien au-delà.

La prochaine session se déroulera du 14 au 19 Juillet 2014, à Sunyani, dans la région de Brong Ahafo qui constitue la principale zone de production du Cajou au Ghana.

 



A common future for EU-Africa: Engaging the private sector in sustainable and inclusive growth
11.04.2014

A common future for EU-Africa: Engaging the private sector in sustainable and inclusive growth

SWCM’s efforts in ensuring quality and excellence and in creating a competitive edge has worn it many awards and accolades, including the 2012 BID Arch of Europe Award making it a role-model for other African enterprises. Mr. Kinninnon recently took part in the 5th EU-Africa Business Forum in Brussels organized by the International Trade Centre (ITC). The 5th EU-Africa Business Forum looked at the way forward in boosting the economic growth and regional economic exchange whilst considering the involvement of the private sector. There, Mr. Kinninon joined other African entrepreneurs at a Roundtable discussion on African SME Success Stories, sharing some of his insights. One major lesson, as Mr. Kinninnon stated, is to establish good relationships with producers. He demonstrates this in Benin in long buying arrangements with the cashew farmers unions. Another step in the business growth is to get together with other businesses and exporters, to jointly advocate for enabling business environment. Mr. Kinninnon is one of the founders of the Cashew Exporters Association in Benin (CONEC).

For other ways by which thriving economies can bolster growth and regional economic intergration, please click here

Building resilient African economies through trade


Un Programme de Formation pour la Maîtrise de la Promotion de Chaînes de Valeur du Cajou Africain, deuxième Session.
07.04.2014

Un Programme de Formation pour la Maîtrise de la Promotion de Chaînes de Valeur du Cajou Africain, deuxième Session.

L’objectif de ce programme est de développer un pool d’experts sur le cajou en Afrique de l’ouest, ayant une connaissance approfondie des chaînes de valeur du cajou. Après trois sessions successives étalées sur une période de sept mois, les participants deviennent des experts certifiés par ACA avec des connaissances avérées sur les chaînes de valeur du cajou africain et les  dynamiques du secteur de cajou. Ils font l`apprentissage de la mise en relation des expériences pratiques avec les connaissances théoriques, rencontrent des partenaires du secteur, partagent les connaissances  et échangent sur les meilleures pratiques. Les « diplômés » du programme auront les compétences en matière de formation des producteurs, de conseils aux entreprises, organismes et institutions de leurs pays d’origine.

La première session du Programme de Formation pour la Maîtrise de la Promotion de Chaînes de Valeur s’est tenue avec succès à Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso en Décembre 2013. En ce qui concerne la seconde session, les 62 participants venus du Bénin, du Burkina Faso, de la Côte d'Ivoire, du Ghana, du Sénégal, de la Sierra Leone et Togo se rencontrent à Bouaké, en Côte d’Ivoire. La session d`une durée de cinq jours sera inauguré par une séance de revue des rapports d`intersession par paire. Les participants, de façon individuelle et en groupes sont invités à partager les résultats et à échanger les informations sur les trois mois d’activités d`intersession au cours des trois formations successives. Ces activités pratiques définies comme des activités d`intersession se déroulent entre les trois sessions successives du programme. Pendant cette seconde session, les experts techniques se focaliseront sur des thèmes comme les bonnes pratiques agricoles, les opérations de récolte et de post-récolte, ainsi que sur l’économie des exploitations. Ces activités informent également les participants sur les systèmes d’information des marchés, tant sur les noix de cajou brutes que sur la transformation des pommes de cajou. Au centre de ce Programme de Formation pour la Maîtrise de de Chaînes de Valeur du Cajou, se trouvent les animateurs et les experts techniques qui enseignent, évaluent et éventuellement adaptent chaque session de formation aux besoins des participants. Ils utilisent simultanément des présentations, des jeux de rôle interactifs et des discussions animées pour mettre en œuvre la formation. Dans le but d’associer les connaissances théoriques acquises  aux pratiques sur le terrain, il est prévu une visite à l’usine de transformation de cajou d’OLAM à Bouaké.   

Pour faciliter l’apprentissage des participants et les échanges régionaux entre les trois sessions ainsi qu’après les sessions, iCA a lancé une plateforme de connaissances au cours de la première session à Bobo-Dioulasso. La plateforme de connaissances offre un espace en ligne pour discuter des meilleures pratiques, partager les leçons apprises et construire des relations entre acteurs tout le long de chaîne de valeur de cajou. Cette communauté de cajou en ligne a le pouvoir d’accroitre la qualité et d`élargir les champs d’application des formations, de sorte qu’elle soit accessible en tout lieu et en temps réel, aussi bien par ordinateur que par téléphone portable.  

L’initiative du Cajou Africain (iCA)

L’initiative de Cajou Africainconstitue un nouveau type de partenariat avec plusieurs parties prenantes dans la coopération au développement. L`initiative est principalement financée par le Ministère fédéral de la Coopération économique et de Développement en Allemagne (BMZ) et la Fondation Bill & Melinda Gates. L'agence de coopération internationale allemande (GIZ) a été retenue pour exécuter le projet. Les partenaires de mise en œuvre, Technoserve et FairMatch Support, assurent l`assistance technique, ainsi que des conseils d’affaires aux transformateurs et facilitent les mises en relation entre producteurs et transformateurs. L’iCA bénéficie spécialement de diverses expertises commerciales et techniques de ses partenaires des secteurs privés et publics. Les partenaires clés du Programme de Formation pour la Maîtrise de Chaines de Valeur du Cajou en Côte d’Ivoire sont,  le Conseil du Coton et de l`Anacarde (CCA), acteur principal de la seconde session du programme, les projets bilatéraux de GIZ tels que le Programme d`Appui aux Filières Agricoles et de Biodiversité (ProFIAB), le Centre national de formation (INADES), le Service de Vulgarisation, l`Agence National d`Appui au Développement Rural (ANADER), et le Centre National de Recherche Agronomique (CNRA), ainsi que les associations nationales des acteurs, comme celles des producteurs de cajou (ANAPROCAJOU, FICAJOU), des commerçants et des exportateurs (UNABO, OAPACI, AEC-CI).



Harvest, what you have planted: Launch of Ghana’s cashew season 2014
01.04.2014

Harvest, what you have planted: Launch of Ghana’s cashew season 2014

“Harnessing the economic and climatic benefits of cashew; the strategic non-traditional export commodity” is the theme of this first cashew season launch, said Ms Yayra Afua Amedzro, Executive Secretary of the Ghana Cashew Industry Association. The inauguration of the cashew season shall become an annual event, bringing together all cashew industry players, to discuss and set a national agenda for the upcoming seasons.

In his keynote speech, the Deputy Minister of Trade, Hon. Nii Lante Vanderpuye, confirmed the president’s commitment to the cashew sector. He further stated that both the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) are devoted to support the cashew sector. He highlighted the potential of cashew becoming the richest export earning industry, especially with Ghana’s advantage of having a comparatively large cashew processing industry. Currently, the country receives USD 170 Million in foreign exchange earnings from cashew, making it the second highest non-traditional export crop in Ghana. The African Cashew initiative is supporting the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in drafting a Cashew Master Plan for the Ghanaian cashew sector. The government was called upon to legally support this plan for the future development of the cashew sector in Ghana.

Currently, Ghanaian cashew farmers produce 50,000 MT of raw cashew nuts annually. With inflows from Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Benin more than 150,000 MT of raw cashew nuts are exported to major destinations such as India, Vietnam and Brazil. Ghana holds the largest cashew processing industry in West Africa, with a local capacity of up to 30,000 MT, creating employment for thousands of people living in rural areas, most of them being women. Currently, ACi in cooperation with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and the Cocoa Research institute in Ghana (CRIG) invest extensively in cashew research and the development of improved planting material. It is estimated that Ghana’s cashew production can be tripled over the next ten years, if all players pull on the same strings.

After the event, KONA (a cashew nut processor), Pinora (a cashew apple processor), Peace Corps and Cocoa Research Institute (CRIG) displayed various cashew products. Some nursery operators had the opportunity to showcase and advertise  improved grafted seedlings. Also ACi showed a training video on “How to establish new cashew farms” to educate farmers after the program. To watch the video, please click here

The event was organized by the Ghana Cashew Industry Association and supported by the African Cashew initiative (ACi), the African Cashew Alliance (ACA), West African Markets Link (WAML) and the Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund (EDAIF).

 

 



Une femme entrepreneur ouvre la voie à d’autres femmes.
31.03.2014

Une femme entrepreneur ouvre la voie à d’autres femmes.

La transformation de l’anacarde au Burkina Faso est une occasion d’augmenter les revenus du pays et ceux des familles. Depuis son ouverture en 2006, la SOTRIA-B emploie au moins 200 personnes dont 90% de femmes. Par ailleurs, elle se porte bien et ses produits sont commercialisés à travers le monde. Aujourd’hui, elle est parmi les plus grands transformateurs de noix de cajou au Burkina Faso et suscite l’espoir en montrant qu’avec détermination et le travail bien fait on peut réussir.

Aminata Koné, en voilà une qui a osé

 



Amélioration de la qualité et de la productivité de la noix de cajou Le Conseil du Coton et de l’Anacarde s’unit avec le Firca et l’Anader
26.03.2014

Amélioration de la qualité et de la productivité de la noix de cajou Le Conseil du Coton et de l’Anacarde s’unit avec le Firca et l’Anader

Les producteurs d’anacarde peuvent se réjouir. Dans sa volonté d’accroître durablement la production, la productivité  et d’améliorer la qualité des noix de cajou ainsi que les revenus des producteurs, le Conseil du Coton et de l’Anacarde (CCA) vient de se trouver de bons alliés. Il a signé, à son siège, aux II Plateaux, vendredi dernier, une convention avec le Fonds Interprofessionnel pour la Recherche et le Conseil Agricoles (Firca) et l’Agence Nationale d’Appui au Développement Rural (Anader).

Malamine SANOGO, Directeur Général du Conseil du Coton et de l’Anacarde, a inscrit cette initiative dans le cadre de la réalisation de l’objectif principal de la réforme, à savoir le bien-être des producteurs qui passe nécessairement par l’amélioration de la valeur marchande des noix. « Ceci n’est possible que par la mise à la disposition des milliers de petits producteurs des techniques simples et efficaces aussi bien pour la conduite de leur verger, que pour la récolte et la conservation des noix afin d’en améliorer la qualité et le rendement à l’hectare ». D’où l’intérêt de cette convention tripartite relative à l’encadrement des paysans  qui lie le CCA au FIRCA et à l’ANADER.

Pour le Directeur Général de l’ANADER, Dr SIDIKI Cissé, «l’encadrement des producteurs reste un défi pour son agence qui compte bien le relever».

Le Directeur Exécutif du FIRCA, Pierre Ackah ANGNIMAN, n’a pas non plus caché sa joie de participer à cette œuvre. « Ma structure jouera sa partition », a-t-il promis.

Les objectifs spécifiques vises par la convention tripartite se résument ainsi qu`il suit :

-         assurer l’information, la sensibilisation et la formation des producteurs aux bonnes pratiques agricoles ;

-         collecter des informations sur la production ;

-         assurer un appui à la commercialisation primaire ;

-         rendre compte des résultats d’exécution de l’encadrement dédié par la production de rapports périodiques.  



Spreading Nut-How: Modern ICTs transform agricultural extension and advisory services
25.03.2014

Spreading Nut-How: Modern ICTs transform agricultural extension and advisory services

ACi, in partnership with the German software company SAP, provide cashew farmer cooperatives with ICT applications to do collaborative business in a more transparent and sustainable way. The SAP software system assigns barcoded bags to each farmer in the cooperative to track collective cashew sales. Every bag of nuts traded is scanned by the buying agents with their smartphones. To calculate the recent market price, each bag weighted and the data are typed into the smartphone application. Once the sale is made, the farmer immediately receives a digital receipt of the transaction and the cooperative has an electronic record in its books.

The Virtual Cooperative system has helped farmers improve their organizational efficiency, ensure transparency of business operations and run detailed data analysis. Ultimately the system helps farmers to access profitable markets more easily. Meanwhile buyers, including local processors, have been able to plan and forecast their trading more accurately which enables in the long term reliable and trusted business relationships to farmers. The system has also enabled them to buy from smallholder producers who have previously been largely excluded from formal trading systems.

How ACi and SAP plan to ensure sales and supply through integrating farmers into supply chain management software is explained in more detail in the newest GIZ publication on Connect to BoP - A guide to Leveraging ICT for inclusive Business, page 54.

With regards to e-agricultural extension, ACi provided interactive farmer trainings on farm maintenance as well as proper harvest and post-harvest technologies which were complemented by radio messages and short message service (SMS) during the cropping season. About 20,000 cashew farmers received key messages, developed collaboratively by farmers, extension agents and other actors, adapted to farmers’ needs and delivered as appropriate, during the year. 

More and more conservative agricultural extension approaches are complemented by modern information and communication technologies. What ICT can do, where it reaches its limits and what still needs to be done to deliver accurate, timely and target information to smallholder farmers is discussed in an article published in Rural 21 Magazine on Modern ICTs and rural extension: Have we reached the tipping point?



12 Facts on the Cashew Sector Reforms in Côte d’Ivoire
13.03.2014

12 Facts on the Cashew Sector Reforms in Côte d’Ivoire

1 Already in 1991, the government of Côte d’Ivoire passed a law to regulate commercial trade of agricultural products and declared the export of agricultural commodities via land borders as illegal unless an exemption was granted. The law foresees that all agricultural goods are exported through the ports of Abidjan and San Pedro, against collection of taxes.

2 As part of the cashew sector reform process in September 2013, ARECA, the former regulation authority for cashew and cotton was transformed to the Conseil du Coton et de l’Anacarde (CCA) to regulate, monitor and develop activities in the cotton and cashew sector. The CCA Board is made of 6 representatives of the state and another 6 representatives from the private sector. For the implementation of the reforms, the Conseil du Café-Cacao made an advance contribution of more than 1.8 billion FCFA to CCA.

3 Projections show that Côte d’Ivoire is becoming the largest cashew producing country worldwide by 2018. The current average cashew productivity rests at 2.4 kg/tree with an average KOR (kernel outturn ratio) of 46 and 450,000 MT of raw cashew nuts produced in 2013. Ivorian cashew production is expected to grow by 15 % annually, based on current projection figures.

4 The opening of the cashew season officially started at 15th February, 2014. The bottom farm gate price for well dried and sorted high quality cashew nuts was at 225 FCFA/kg for the most part of the 2014 cashew season. The fixed price may be revised according to the CIF price development, by the end of this season.

5 The current in-country processing of raw cashew nuts (RCN) accounts for 6 % of the local production. In order to increase value addition, the Ivorian government targets 35% in-county RCN processing by 2015 and 100% in-county RCN processing by 2020.

6 Currently,13 processing factories are operational with a total installed capacity of 50,100 MT per annum. Among them are 7 small-scale (> 1,000 MT), 4 medium-scale (1,000 to 5,000 MT) and 2 large-scale (< 5,000 MT) processing units. There are an additional 6 satellite processing units that adding up to the total installed capacity of Olam international, the biggest RCN processor in Cote d’Ivoire. Another 3 factories are under construction with an additional planned capacity of 5,000 MT.

7 After conducting an economic study, the government in Côte d’Ivoire raises minimum wages by 50%.

8 As part of a new marketing strategy for cashew export promotion, the establishment of 48 licensed warehouses is planed until end of 2014.

9 In order to structure the national marketing system, major operators such as cooperatives, buyers and exporters are identified and licensed. So far, CCA has licensed 471 buyers, 68 business entities and 225 cooperatives and cooperative associations. Unregistered exporters are officially banned from purchasing directly from producers or processors. The council is also responsible for all operational arrangements including appropriate sanctions to ensure that the minimum price is paid to producers.

10 To ensure transparency and reliability of the marketing system, CCA initiated collaboration with SAP, a German software developer, to improve the documentation and traceability of commercial transactions from farmers to processor and to exporters.

11 For better learning, exchange and effective collaboration between the various actors in the cashew sector, CCA is establishing a representative and credible inter-professional organization made of producers, producer cooperatives, processors, exporters and buyers.

12 In November 2014, the first cashew processing equipment exhibition will take place in Abidjan. The event is organized by CCA in cooperation with ACi, the African Cashew Alliance (ACA) and Boloré Africa Logistics.

 



Field Trip to Olam Ivoire SA
07.03.2014

Field Trip to Olam Ivoire SA

In 2004, Olam installed a manual processing unit in Dimbokro with a capacity of 12.000 MT of RCN processed per annum. This unit employs about 1200 workers, with 80% of them being women. Here, cashews are processed manually going through different stages, from steaming and shelling to packaging the white kernels for export. All cashew processed in Dimbokro receive organic certification. In Djekanou, Olam recently installed a fully mechanized peeling unit with an average capacity of 10 MT kernels peeled per day. This unit runs three shifts per day. Peeled kernels from Djekanou are also packaged in Dimbokro.

ACi together with representatives of the Conseil du Coton et de l'Anacarde (CCA), IDH, SAP, INCAJU, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture of Ghana visited these processing sites. At their arrival to Djekanou, they were introduced to Olam’s social welfare policies. They discussed means by which Olam supports their employees and the various communities in which they operate. Factory managers Mr. Simranjeet Singh, Mr. Camara and others also informed their visitors about Olam’s code of conduct: “Food safety and traceability is a key component in all processes”.

After a lunch offered by OLAM, the delegation continued to Dimbokro and Djekanou to visit the two satellite processing units:

The delegation ended their visit in the late afternoon. Before returning to Abidjan, the participants thanked Olam for the informative and insightful tour. “By opening their doors, sharing lessons learnt and best practices, Olam again proved to be a pioneer in the cashew processing sector in Africa”, stated Mary Adzanyo, Director Private Sector Development (ACi).



MoFA – a modern African Ministry introduces ICT solutions for Agricultural Development
04.03.2014

MoFA – a modern African Ministry introduces ICT solutions for Agricultural Development

The livelihoods of farmers rise and fall with the accurate information on farming technologies. Ever since farmers started to grow crops, they have been asking about the most effective ways of cultivation, where to get their farm inputs and which harvest and post-harvest measures they shall apply. By introducing ICT-based agricultural extension system, MoFA takes on the responsibility of connecting smallholder farmers to knowledge, networks and institutions necessary to improve productivity, food security and employment opportunities.

The e-Agriculture system is financed by the World Banks West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP). A multilingual interactive voice response system and regional call centers offer up-to-date and validated information on farming technologies in 11 local languages.  Farmers, governments and experts provided best fitted farming solutions, based on a diverse set of expertise and experiences to develop these information databases.

With the introduction of the e-Agriculture system, MOFA commits to mobilize resources to make agricultural extension information available to farmers, everywhere, and at all times.

To find out more about e-Agriculture in MoFA, please click here



Review of the Global Cashew Market in 2013 & Forecast for the Year 2014
19.02.2014

Review of the Global Cashew Market in 2013 & Forecast for the Year 2014

How the cashew market functions is determined by a number of factors including, but not limited to demand and supply trends, as well as available stocks. This study is concerned with the statistics of the cashew market in 2013, the outlook for 2014 and the years ahead. This summary provides a brief overview and analysis of current cashew market trends and highlights the role of the African Cashew Alliance (ACA) and the African Cashew initiative (ACi) in the development of the African cashew sector.

Read the full report here



Benin meets Ghana – ACi Master Training Program triggers regional exchange and joint learning
17.02.2014

Benin meets Ghana – ACi Master Training Program triggers regional exchange and joint learning

The visit was planned during the first session of the ACi/ACA Master Training Program held in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso in December 2013. The program aims at developing a pool of certified West African cashew experts with in-depth knowledge on the cashew value chain. After attending the first session, participants became curious about best practices, success stories and lessons learnt in other West African countries. Getting a deeper understanding of how cashew is grown, processed and traded in a neighboring country is what triggered this educational trip.

As part of a two day program, the team from Benin met two ACi supported cashew processing factories (Mim and Kona), a cashew apple processor and the Wenchi Farmer Union. The four Beninese visitors arrived with many questions and great ambitions for learning from their Ghanaian neighbors.

During their meeting with Mim and Kona, the Benin team raised question about the sourcing of Raw Cashew Nuts (RCN) and learned about the various processing steps. They were especially interested in farmer linkage programs, as well as marketing strategies of processed kernels. The Mim factory manager informed them about a quality based payment system. This system is an integrated part of the linkage program and helps to ensure that farmers supply high quality raw nuts. The general agreement is: The better the quality, the higher the price.

In discussion with the Wenchi Farmer Union, the Benin team was particularly attentive to the application of Good Agricultural Practices and issues to improve the quality of Raw Cashew Nuts. Beninese farmers inquired from their Ghanaian colleagues on how to market their raw nuts, and their specific experiences having buying contracts with processors, buyers and other actors in the value chain. One farmer prefers the security of ready market and predictable price, whilst others still tend to be attracted to potential short term gains and want to find the best paying buyer at each moment in the season. This discrepancy tends to hamper an effective bulk-selling, which is however gradually improving.

The Wenchi Farmer Union was impressed by their neighbors for organizing this educational trip and is inspired to meet them again in Benin for a continuous exchange and learning beyond national borders and language boundaries.



Le Conseil du coton et de l’anacarde présente les opportunités
17.02.2014

Le Conseil du coton et de l’anacarde présente les opportunités

Sponsor gold, le Conseil du coton et de l’anacarde a saisi cette occasion pour présenter les opportunités d’affaires qu’offre ce secteur d’activité. A cet effet, Malamine SANOGO, Directeur Général (DG) du Conseil du Coton et de l’anacarde, a fait partie d’un panel sur le thème : « comment accélérer la transformation de l’anacarde ? ». M. Sanogo a indiqué à l’endroit des investisseurs que la Côte d’Ivoire a amorcé une réforme des filières coton-anacarde en mettant l’accent notamment sur l’accroissement de la transformation locale à moyen terme afin d’améliorer le prix bord champ. « Nous attendons que vous nous aidiez à transformer notre production en 2013 estimée à 500.000 tonnes dont seulement 30.000 T ont été transformées », a-t-il fait savoir.

Par ailleurs, plus de 300 personnes dont des hommes d’affaires, des journalistes de la presse nationale et internationale, des cadres de l’administration, ont visité le stand du Conseil du coton et de l’anacarde. A ces visiteurs, les animateurs leur ont expliqué les points saillants de la réforme de ces deux filières. Ils leur ont également annoncé un projet majeur du Conseil de régulation, de suivi et de développement du binôme coton-anacarde. A savoir le Salon International des Equipements et des Technologies de Transformation de l’Anacarde (SIETTA 2014), une plate-forme de vulgarisation des outils de transformation de la noix de cajou. ICI 2014 a réuni en quatre jours 3733 participants venus de 103 pays dont 270 exposants étrangers. Au niveau national, ce sont 2242 participants et 149 exposants. Près de 3000 investisseurs, les institutions financières internationales, la Banque mondiale, le Fonds monétaire international (Fmi), la Banque africaine de développement (Bad), l’Agence française de développement (Afd), l’Uemoa, etc. ont pris part à ce rendez-vous. Selon le Premier ministre Daniel Kablan Duncan, ce sont 443 milliards FCFA d’intention d’investissements qui ont été enregistrés au terme de ce conclave.



ACi Core Partner Meeting in Côte d’Ivoire
12.02.2014

ACi Core Partner Meeting in Côte d’Ivoire

The meeting offers ACi partners from the private and public sector to exchange on recent developments in the sector. Participants revisit and discuss ACi’s strategy, its current and upcoming activities as well as objectives to be achieved within the second phase of implementation. Especially, the cashew reforms in Côte d’Ivoire and its consequences on ACi interventions and for the cashew sector at large will be a hot topic for debate. On the 14th, participants are invited to visit OLAM satellite processing units in Bouake, north-east of Abidjan.

A short documentary in French on the Core Partner meeting from 10:33 minute to 13:00 minute here

 



The Cashew Way Forward: ACi Annual Planning Meeting 2014
06.02.2014

The Cashew Way Forward: ACi Annual Planning Meeting 2014

The joint vision remains clear: We want to take the African cashew sector to a next level of competitiveness in the upcoming year. More challenging is the question on the knowledge transfer and exit strategy of ACi. Yield levels are gradually improving, however its only Ghana where we can observe an average of 900kg/ ha, whilst the other countries remain still far below 500 kg/ha. The processing industry is growing, yet there is a huge need for intensified supply chain linkages, as successfully started with the Matching Fund projects.

Based on these kind of evaluations and a review of achievements, new focal areas and activities to be implemented in 2014 were defined.

This is the basis for a draft annual operational plan for all components, yet to be refined for each country of operations.

Over a period of one week the team met together with a representative of the Ministry of Agriculture of Burkina Faso and a partnering GIZ project on agricultural development Programme développement d'agriculture (PDA).

The topics of discussion and endorsement were focused on the four project components: Production, Processing, Supply Chain linkages and Sector Organization, as well as Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) and Management/ Communication. Furthermore, contents for the second Master Training Program session to be held in Cote d’ivoire, in the first half of 2014, from the 7.04. – 11.04.2014 were discussed.

After a fruitful planning week, we are looking forward to a new cashew season 2014, to jointly tackle the challenges and equally important to celebrate the success of a growing cashew industry in West Africa.



Contract Farming Handbook
05.02.2014

Contract Farming Handbook

This handbook provides a practical and process-oriented approach guiding practitioners through sound planning, starting up, consolidation and up-scaling of contract farming (CF) schemes. It gives insights in the selection of an appropriate business model for the farm supply-firm procurement interface based on principles of fairness and transparency. It furthermore provides guiding principles, questions and answers for the development of viable CF business and practicable management plans, mutually beneficial farming contracts and mutually agreed dispute settlement systems. Following a concise introduction into the theory of contract farming, the handbook also gives hints for facilitators interested to support CF development in the form of moderation, technical and financial assistance respectively.

Please download the handbook here: http://www.africancashewinitiative.org/index.php?lang=eng&page=39&cid=2

Published by GIZ on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ): Sector Project Agricultural Policy and Food Security, Agricultural Input Supply Project (AISP) Zimbabwe, Competitive African Cotton Initiative (COMPACI)

Author: Margret Will, June 2013

With contributions from: Max Baumann, Christoph Pannhausen, Till Rockenbauch and Ulrich Weyl



On a Personal Note with Kwabena Taylor
17.01.2014

On a Personal Note with Kwabena Taylor

Cashew nuts have tremendous market potential that everyone should benefit from. To be successful and organise his business in a way that will benefit as many people as possible – that’s what Kwabena Taylor, who manages a cashew processing company in Ghana, wants.

What role does Ghana play in your life?
I travelled a lot in my youth. I lived in the USA and visited Europe. I always thought the ‘grass was greener on the other side.’ But it isn’t – and I soon came back. Ghana offers so many opportunities; I love the country and the people. When my brother showed me this piece of land, I immediately began to make plans.

Why cashews? Why did you decide to go for this line of business?
Cashews are in demand the world over and the market is growing. In days gone by, African countries used to export their raw cashew nuts and so forego the substantial income that can be generated by processing them. Nowadays there is more and more local processing going on. We pay our farmers fair prices, help them improve the quality of their nuts and create jobs – especially for women.

Which challenges did you have to surmount in order to set up the factory?
In Ghana it is difficult to get funding for agriculture. We had just got together enough money when we realised that the raw products the local farmers were offering us were not up to standard. Luckily we have good international partners that advise us well on all these challenges.

What is the most important thing in your life?
First and foremost I am a business man. I want to be successful and earn money. But I also feel very responsible towards my workers. If I had to close the factory they would all lose their jobs. Often an entire family is dependent on this income. For this reason, the most important thing is that as many people as possible benefit from my company.

What would you do if you won the lottery?
I would finance the vocational training of promising young men and women – education is the most valuable commodity there is. And I would put money into environmental protection projects: I would like to see a greener world. But I would still go to work in my factory every day and I would continue to invest money in cashew processing in Ghana.



IDH and ACi sign MoU
16.01.2014

IDH and ACi sign MoU

After intensive negotiations, ACi and IDH - The Sustainable Trade Initiative decided to cooperate closer. IDH officially became funding partner to the ACi Matching Fund Projects with a special component on Supply Chain Management Information Systems. Both partners are looking forward to support sustainable projects on African Cashew.
The Sustainable Trade Initiative, based in the Netherlands, accelerates and up-scales sustainable trade by building impact oriented coalitions of front running multinationals, civil society organizations, governments and other stakeholders. Through convening public and private interests, strengths and knowledge, IDH programs help create shared value for all partners. Since March 2012 IDH has been involved in the African Cashew sector. Their aim is to create sustainable economic growth, private sector development and economic empowerment.