Matching Grant Fund: CICC Experts Evaluate 77 Concept Notes for the Cashew Sector

Matching Grant Fund: CICC Experts Evaluate 77 Concept Notes for the Cashew Sector

 Fig1: Group picture ||©GIZ MOVE-ComCashew

A committee composed of 17 experts from the Consultative International Cashew Council (CICC) evaluated from July 31 to August 4, 2023, in Grand Bassam, a seaside town in southern Côte d'Ivoire, 77 concept notes of the cashew value chain .

These concept notes were received as part of the first call for applications launched in June 2023 by the MOVE-ComCashew project for its competitive Matching Grant Fund.

The Matching Grant Fund is implemented by the Market Oriented Value Chains for Jobs and Growth in the ECOWAS Regions (MOVE-ComCashew) through the “Business Support Facility for Resilient Agricultural Value Chains” programme. The programme is co-financed by the European Union (EU), within the framework of the post-Cotonou agreement with the Secretariat of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

 Fig 2:  The individual assessment stage  ||©GIZ MOVE-ComCashew

The objective of the Matching Grant Fund is to mobilize contributions from private partners for the implementation of specific interventions aimed at developing the cashew value chain and strengthening ownership in order to stimulate sustainable growth in the cashew sector, strengthen private sector development and improve the productivity and profitability of cashew value chain actors in the 79 Member States of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS).

 For five days, fairly and transparently CICC experts from 9 countries; Ghana , Senegal, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali, Cameroon, from Togo and Benin assessed the  allocation of scores for the concept notes of Matching Grant Fund applicants. This process took place in three stages. These include the individual assessment stage , peer review, and plenary presentations and discussions .

As at the opening, the closing ceremony was punctuated by enriching speeches. While welcoming the number of Concept Notes received, Costa Cecilia, Program Officer at the Delegation of the European Union (EU) expressed her appreciation for the transparency in the evaluation as well as the professionalism of the experts.

 Fig 4  CICC Executive Secretary André Tandjiékpon delivering his speech ||©GIZ MOVE-ComCashew

The Value Chain Expert of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), Yvonne Chileshe indicated that the results from the evaluators will be reviewed by the board of directors on August 16th . A communique will follow to the selected candidates to guide them on the rest of the process.

Yvonne Chileshe did not fail to thank “the Ivorian government, the CICC, the GIZ and the European Union for their support in carrying out this process ” .

The Director of the MOVE-ComCashew project, Rita Weidinger praised the quality of the cashew “will help us to develop this sector for the benefit of development actors, for women and young people (…). For me, your commitment is impressive and unprecedented. See you in Dakar for the evaluation of the full project proposals. added Ms. Weidinger.

At the beginning of his remarks, the Executive Secretary of the CICC, André Tandjiékpon revealed the three stages of the evaluation process. “The individual phase where each expert allocates the score individually; the second phase where the notes are compared with the necessary arguments in groups of three or four to consolidate the exercise done individually and the third phase in plenary, where the arguments are presented to all the experts who validated after discussion " .

These different stages show, according to André Tandjiékpon Executive Secretary of the CICC, that the level of transparency and the degree of traceability of the exercise reassures that the work that has been done is a professional work, which could help the Board of Directors to take right decisions. The CICC remains ready to continue this exercise in order to be able to finalize the process in Senegal.

Successful applicants will be asked to produce a full proposal of their project for this Matching Grant  Fund.

Training of trainers for the Farmer Business School (FBS) on cashew welcomed in Burkina Faso

Training of trainers for the Farmer Business School (FBS) on cashew welcomed in Burkina Faso

The GIZ/MOVE project in Burkina Faso organized the theoretical and practical phases of the Farmer Business School (FBS) cashew in several localities of the country from February 6th to March 10th, 2023. This training has strengthened the hope of agricultural stakeholders on a sustainable agricultural development in Burkina Faso.

The GIZ/MOVE project organized a workshop on the training of trainers FBS cashew from February 6th to March 10th in Burkina Faso. This training is an initiative of the Farmer Business School (FBS) Program, adapted to cashew nuts and other associated crops. It is a training that enables trainers to acquire the FBS behaviour change philosophy and knowledge on how to link FBS training to Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) by linking behaviour change and learning methodology through practical implementation.  

In accordance with the FBS training guide published by Agri Business Facility (ABF), the activity took place in two phases (theoretical and practical). The practical phase took place at Iba Hotel in Bobo-Dioulasso from February 6 to February 15 with the support of a master trainer while the practical phase took place from February 20th to March 10th, 2023 in the localities of Banfora, Sapouy, Toussiana, Toumousseni, Noumoudara.

Fig.1. The classroom phase of the FBS cashew training of trainers with the master trainer and participants. Source : GIZ/MOVE

The sustainable action of the MOVE/GIZ project behind this training is the creation of a pool of trainers who will be able to scale up the FBS cashew training with farmers. To this end, nothing was left behind. The MOVE/GIZ project set out to select the best of the best for this training. Several profiles were selected, including consultants, regional agricultural advisers, public administration extension agents, farmers' organizations and technical and financial partners and trainers from vocational training centres.  

Fig. 2. The trainers of the FBS cashew training apply their knowledge to producers. Source : GIZ/MOVE

Thanks to this training, twenty-five (25) stakeholders were trained namely eight (08) women and seventeen (17) men. In the field, the FBS cashew training reached three hundred eighty-four farmers including one hundred eighty-six women. The MOVE project, which aims to be gender-transformative, has made it a point of honour to involve women in the FBS training process. A woman trained in FBS is a woman who knows that she must plan her activities, save her income for more security, diversify her activities for more income, for a balanced diet within her family. In addition, she learns the benefits of a Farmers' Cooperative Society (SCOOP).

The trainers who benefited from the training as well as the farmers during the field phase said they were satisfied with what they learnt. According to some trainers, who benefited from the training, “the training of trainers FBS cashew is compulsory for Burkina Faso in order to boost its cashew sector”. Some farmers also gave their testimonies. “We were in ignorance before but thanks to the five (05) day training we had received, we left this state to embrace new ideas. We need to make a change in the way we work [...] We warmly welcome this initiative," said one female farmer. The departmental president of a farmers’organization which works in cashew sector in Toussiana said he is satisfied with the training. For him “this training will allow their farmers’organization to become more operational. With this training, we realized that we need to work harder to increase our sales, stick together, and focus on group fertilizer purchasing. We thank the MOVE project and its partners for involving the locality of Toussiana in this training and we are ready to welcome new trainings." 

These training actions in FBS cashew aims to bring sustainable added value to the cashew sector in Burkina Faso.

The launch of cashew nut processing guides

The launch of cashew nut processing guides

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Mr. Minister, Dr. Souleymane Diarrasouba, The Director of the MOVE project, Mrs. Rita Weidinger and representatives of GIZ/MOVE at the official launch of the 5 cashew processing guides                                                           Source: GIZ/MOVE © 

On 6th April, 2023, the official launch of the French version of the cashew nut processing guides was held  at the Palais de la Culture in Abidjan, during the 4th edition of the International Exhibition of equipment and technologies for cashew nut processing (SIETTA) . The Minister of Trade, Industry and Promotion of SMEs, Dr. Souleymane Diarrassouba, not only initiated these guides but also graced us with his presence at the launch of these guides.

This launch brought together several actors of the cashew value chain such as different international organizations, processors and people who were interested in the cashew sector.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Mr. Minister, Dr. Souleymane Diarrasouba, representatives of the MOVE, project and the Cotton and Cashew Council and processors at the launch                                                                                                                                   Source: GIZ/MOVE ©

These guides, developed by GIZ/ComCashew in collaboration with international and national stakeholders, notably the African Cashew Alliance and the Conseil du Coton et de l'Anacarde (CCA), aim to enable stakeholders and potential investors to better appreciate the problems of cashew processing in Africa.

These five (5) volume booklets are available in English and French and are entitled as follows

  • Cashew nut processing process
  • Opportunities and Challenges of cashew processing in Africa
  • Guide to cashew processing equipment
  • Guidelines for the selection of raw cashew processing equipment
  • Guidelines on food hygiene, traceability and sustainability in cashew processing

During the launch, Mary Adzanyo, Deputy Head of GIZ MOVE, indicated that the guides would provide useful information and practical advice to the actors to increase the competitiveness of the cashew nut value chain and the quality of the products.

In addition, Dr. Souleymane Diarrassouba, also indicated that these guides will not only provide the cashew sector actors with key information on processing but will also allow the processors to improve their processing units as well as the quality of their cashew products.

Later, Dr. Souleymane Diarrassouba, thanked the German Cooperation for its efforts to improve the competitiveness of the cashew sector in Africa. He recommended the 5 guides to all those who are interested or concerned by cashew processing in Africa and distributed the 5 guides to the processors and people who were present on that day at the closure of the official launch.

Boosting Sustainable Agriculture in Ghana Through Promotion of Conservation Agriculture and Agroforestry

Boosting Sustainable Agriculture in Ghana Through Promotion of Conservation Agriculture and Agroforestry

 Agriculture is the backbone of Ghana's economy, providing employment for almost half of the population and contributing significantly to the country's gross domestic product. However, the sector has faced several challenges, including low productivity, soil degradation, and climate change effects. To address these challenges, the GIZ implemented project MOVE as initiated activities to promote Conservation Agriculture and Agroforestry in the Bono and Bono East regions of Ghana.

Conservation agriculture is a farming system that aims to increase crop yields while preserving and improving the soil, water, and biodiversity. It involves minimal soil disturbance, crop rotation, and the use of cover crops to improve soil fertility and reduce erosion. Agroforestry, on the other hand, is a land-use management system that combines trees with crops or livestock, providing multiple benefits such as increased soil fertility, improved water retention, biodiversity and carbon sequestration.

By combining the principles of conservation agriculture and agroforestry, farmers can achieve higher yields, reduce production costs, and enhance their resilience to effects of climate change.

At the onset of the major planting season this year and in order to facilitate the implementation of planned planting activities the project delivered essential inputs to the department of agriculture in the Jinijini - Berekum West, Wenchi Municipal and Kintampo South districts. This is to continue capacity building on five established conservation agriculture community demonstration plots, which started in the minor season 2022.

The items delivered include cashew seedlings, coconut seedlings, maize seeds, groundnut seeds, bush mucuna (cover crop) seeds, tools, as well as fertilizers and pesticides, including organic pesticides to control fall armyworm and neem oil for controlling termites.

The district heads and agricultural extension agents in charge of the districts and the demonstration plots respectively received the inputs. The AEAs have received dedicated training on conservation agriculture and will oversee the input distribution to the farmer groups in the communities of the five conservation agriculture demonstration plots. Technical support to the farmers, including training on best practices for conservation agriculture and agroforestry is given through the agricultural extension agents and the project activities supported by the Departments of Agriculture.

In conclusion, the activity is a joint effort of the various district departments of Agriculture, Directorate of Crop Services and GIZ. The provision of essential inputs by the GIZ/MOVE-ComCashew project to the department of agriculture in the Bono and Bono East regions of Ghana is a significant step towards promoting sustainable agriculture practices in the region. We believe that farmer need to see what makes a districts on their land which is why the instrument of demonstration plot has been chosen.

The conservation agriculture and agroforestry practices being promoted by the project have the potential to increase crop yields, reduce production costs, and enhance the resilience of farmers to climate change. With the results they see on the demonstration plots as we well as technical assistance, farmers in the region can adopt these practices on their own land and contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals in Ghana.

Master Training Programme (MTP)

Master Training Programme (MTP)

A session of the training participants, showing participants from Côte d'Ivoire Ms. Kone-Cisse from CICC and Ms. Paule-Mireille BODO from FoodsCo. Source : b&ftonline

GIZ/MOVE-ComCashew, in partnership with public/private organizations, have established the Master Training Programme (MTP). The objective of this training is to create a pool of qualified experts in the cashew value chain to facilitate regional knowledge exchange, learning and innovation in the cashew sector.

The 14 Editions of the Master Trainers Program under the GIZ umbrella has trained 1037 participants, of which 38% are women and 62% are men, from 20 different countries.

This capacity building initiative aimed at training professional actors of the value chain is now piloted since 2023 by the African Cashew Alliance (ACA).

Indeed, this January 2023, the African Cashew Alliance (ACA) held the first session of the 15th edition of the master trainers program in Sunyani (Ghana). The training brought together 85 cashew value chain actors from Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Mali and Togo.

GIZ/MOVE Program Manager Rita Weidinger addressing the participants during the training. Source : b&ftonline

Mrs. Rita Weidinger, Program Manager of the MOVE project, was present at the official opening of this 15th edition held for the first time entirely by the African Cashew Alliance, ACA. In her speech, she stressed the importance of capacity building and gender inclusion in order to promote a strong and sustainable cashew industry.

In the same vein, always with the aim of developing human capacity and also to promote the dissemination of good practices in promoting business models; the MOVE project took on several participants from different countries for the master trainers program, half of whom were women, including nursing mothers who attend the training with their children and nannies. In addition to learning about the cashew sector, participants are introduced to other principles such as adult learning and personal development in order to achieve a more positive impact.

GIZ /MOVE encourages all cashew value chain actors to continue this training for theoretical and practical knowledge sharing.

Launch of Cashew Recipe Book

Launch of Cashew Recipe Book


On 07 April 2023, on the sidelines of the 4th edition of the International Exhibition of Equipment and Technologies of Cashew Processing (SIETTA) held the official launch of the cashew recipe book at the Palace of Culture in Abidjan. The Director General of the Cotton and Cashew Council, Dr.Adama Coulibaly launched the cashew recipe book.

Indeed, this recipe book developed by GIZ/MOVE-ComCashew in collaboration with international and national actors, notably the Council of Cotton and Cashew Nuts (CCA), aims to introduce readers to a variety of practical recipes based on almonds and cashew apples, in order to increase demand and consumption. This recipe book originally published in English includes twenty-eight (28) recipes from different regions.

The launch took place right after the CasheWomen training, which was also a real success.

We were honoured to have among our guests Dr Adama Coulibaly, Director of the Cotton and Cashew Board, Ms Alimata Soumahoro, Head of Product Promotion Department of the Cotton and Cashew Board and Ms Swapna Gowda of CashewInfo and Amy Fall.

Several women who came from elsewhere to attend the CasheWomen training were able to take part in the launch. This was an opportunity for them to learn more about the benefits of cashews and discover the different recipes.

Mrs Mary Adzanyo, Deputy Director of the MOVE (GIZ) project gave a very nice speech during which she indicated the benefits of cashew and encourage its consumption.

Then, Dr.Adama Coulibaly proceeded to the official launch of the cashew recipe book. He first emphasized the nutritional value of cashews and the benefits of its consumption on the human body. In addition, according to him, the consumption of walnuts and cashew apples must have nutritional, dietary and even health benefits

Launch of the joint action "Business Support Facility for Resilient Agricultural Value Chains" in Abidjan

Launch of the joint action "Business Support Facility for Resilient Agricultural Value Chains" in Abidjan

On April 5, 2023, the Joint Action "Business Support Facility for Resilient Agricultural Value Chains" was successfully launched in Abidjan. This joint action comes from the European Union (EU), the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OEACP) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The launch was organized by the two GIZ implementation projects, the Agribusiness Facility for Africa(ABF) and Market-Oriented Value Chains for Jobs and Growth in the ECOWAS region (MOVE-ComCashew)  jointly with their partners ; the Conseil du Coton et de l'Anacarde (CCA) a day before the opening of the fourth edition of the International Exhibition of Cashew Processing Equipment and Technologies (SIETTA), and the Consultative International Cashew Council (CICC)  in parallel to the  Ministerial Council meeting .

Together, ABF and ComCashew will implement Component 1 of a larger EU framework program that aims to develop and improve the capacity of African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) agricultural value chain actors in the cashew, cocoa, maize, livestock (sheep, goat, cattle), and potentially cassava, chicken/eggs, and honey sectors, and to attract finance and investment, particularly towards low-emission and climate-resilient practices and value chains.

This program, commissioned for 48 months (March 1, 2023 to February 28, 2027), aims to develop and improve the capacities of actors along ACP agricultural value chains and to attract financing and investment, particularly towards low-emission and climate-resilient practices and value chains. The focus is on "developing bankable projects for investment in the agricultural value chain through targeted capacity building."

In his opening remarks, Ivorian Minister Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani congratulated the implementation projects. "I welcome the implementation of this project led by GIZ through MOVE-ComCashew and Agribusiness Facillity. It will eventually cover 79 ACP countries including 9 African countries, including Côte d'Ivoire, and will have a positive and sustainable impact on sectors as important to us as the cocoa and cashew sectors," he said.

The launch of this program, which takes place on the eve of the opening of the 4th edition of the International Cashew Equipment and Processing Technology Exhibition (SIETTA), and on the occasion of the Ministerial meeting of the International Cashew Advisory Council (CICC), is according to Dr. Adama Coulibaly, Director General of the Cotton and Cashew Council a strong signal. The Commissioner General of SIETTA welcomed in particular the European Union (EU), the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) who decided to join their efforts to implement this project.

The projects of the German cooperation in the agricultural field promote for the Chargé des Affaires of the German Embassy in Côte d'Ivoire, Dr. Marton Köver

To this end, says the German diplomat, 450,000 farmers have already been trained in good agricultural practices, marketing and costing by Germany. In the cashew value chain in northern Côte d'Ivoire alone, more than 9,000 jobs have been created, mainly for women and young people, through the German cooperation project ComCashew, both of which are implemented by GIZ.

The action launched today targets, according to Ms. Francesca Di Mauro, Ambassador of the European Union in Côte d'Ivoire, the following value chains: cashew, maize, livestock and cocoa, in ACP countries.

"The total budget is 56 million Euros: this includes a contribution from the EU of 43.8 million Euros and from Germany of 12.2 million Euros. The project is implemented by GIZ, it starts in March 2023 for a period of 4 years. Of this amount, the cashew nut value chain has been prioritized and will receive a contribution of €24.2 million (20 EU + 4.2 BMZ)," said the diplomat.

The Under-Secretary General, Structural Economic Transformation and Trade-Secretariat of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), Mr. Escipión J. Oliveira Gòmez welcomed this strategic partnership that will effectively fight against hunger and climate change in the world. While offering many opportunities to agricultural entrepreneurs.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Cameroon and Chairman of the CICC, Gabriel Mbairobe thanked all the stakeholders of the project who are working for the development of the value chains of agricultural commodities.   

The presentation of the EU INTPA Project Concept was made jointly by the ABF and MOVE ComCashew Project Managers. These are Mr. Magnus Schmid and Ms. Rita Weidinger respectively.

Development Partners (DP’s) Workshop

Development Partners (DP’s) Workshop

Dr. Adama Coulibaly Director General of the CCA with the participants of the workshop. Source : Ivoirinter24

The Cotton and Cashew Council (CCA) organized a workshop with the technical and financial partners of the implementation of the development activities of the cashew nut sector in Côte d'Ivoire. This meeting took place on Thursday 26 January 2023 in Abidjan at the Plam Club.

Ms. Raissa Diomande representative of GIZ/ MOVE in the panel exchange. Source : PRO-Cashew

There was talk of setting up a framework of dialogue and collaboration in order to develop the necessary synergies between the various actors intervening in the cashew nut sector 

The objective of this workshop was to identify the projects and interventions of the different partners of the cashew nut sector in Côte d'Ivoire, to elaborate and update the directory of projects and to ensure the follow-up, and to reinforce the collaboration between the different actors (national and international institutions, public sector, private sector, civil society) intervening in the cashew nut sector.

A session of the workshop participants, showing the participants in full exchange.

GIZ/MOVE as a partner was invited to this meeting and had the opportunity to present its objectives, its different activities as well as the results obtained and expected in Côte d'Ivoire and the other countries of MOVE interventions.