News

Key to success - Balancing professional and personal life
26.11.2019

Key to success - Balancing professional and personal life

ComCashew together with its partner ACA organized an interactive one-hour CasheWomen breakfast meeting on the sidelines of the just ended ACA conference held in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. The meeting which took place on 6th November, 2019 brought together professionals working along the cashew value chain who were present for the ACA cashew conference. The purpose of the CasheWomen meeting was to: 

  • jointly celebrate and appreciate major professional achievements and milestones accomplished by CasheWomen who were present;

  • share proud moments in their lives;

  • exchange on challenges and struggles while drawing on the experiences of others;

  • focus on efficient ways of balancing professional and family/personal life.

Participants were encouraged to individually share their views on each of the above-mentioned points with another participant in order to trigger impactful networking and collaboration, and motivation.

Using this approach, the participants had the opportunity to do some introspections, compare their situations with those of others and to receive constructive feedback among others. This in turn will improve the quality of their interventions and their impact on the cashew sector. According to many women – and men – present, a main key for success lies in finding the right balance between professional and personal life.

                                                                                                                          

Viviane Alima M’Boutiki

Training Officer and Gender, GIZ/ComCashew

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            



GIZ/ComCashew publishes Cashew Processing Guidebooks
25.11.2019

GIZ/ComCashew publishes Cashew Processing Guidebooks

In 2011, the Competitive Cashew initiative (GIZ/ComCashew) conducted a comprehensive study on raw cashew nut processing equipment in consultation with cashew industry investors worldwide. The study revealed areas of concern related to raw cashew nut processing. 

In response, GIZ/ComCashew has published a series of cashew processing guides to provide useful information and practical materials to the industry, notably to new processors and investors entering the raw cashew nut processing business in Africa and existing processors who plan to upgrade or expand their cashew processing factories.

All five (5) guidebooks can be found here:

Enjoy reading!



Cashew is the new cocoa
23.11.2019

Cashew is the new cocoa

The air in the rainforest is humid and sweet and makes breathing difficult. But Daniel Obeng doesn't mind. Every day the 65-year-old is here with his wife, on his piece of land in the rainforest of eastern Ghana. There he cultivates cocoa fruits, which blush slowly on the trees until they are ripe. Then he knocks them off the tree with a machete, opens the bowl with a few artistic blows and places the beans under banana leaves for fermentation. He has been doing this for twelve years.

But in recent times Obeng has worries: "The weather, he says, has become unpredictable. "Actually, it's dry season, but it's raining - the weather is generally not as it used to be. Because small farmers like Obeng, who are responsible for most of Ghana's cocoa harvest, do not irrigate artificially, this has consequences: One kilo of raw cocoa beans earns the farmer about 1.20 euros. Every fruit that rots in the heavy rain, every plant that dries in the drought reduces his already small budget. As a result, many farmers are now deciding against cocoa.

Read more here



"Yesterday's tractor. Technology of tomorrow"
22.11.2019

"Yesterday's tractor. Technology of tomorrow"

Ghanaian Emmanuel Ansah-Amprofi is building a sharing platform for agricultural machinery with old cell phones and used tractors. A story about a start-up that can not be stopped by a lack of infrastructure.

We stand at 29 ° C in front of the colorful incubator Mest in Ghana's capital Accra. Although there are at least 5,000 km between this location and the next German incubator, German AgTech founders are likely to find some details familiar . For example, when Emmanuel Ansah-Amprofi, farmer and co-founder of the Ghanaian tractor-sharing platform "Trotro Tractor" reports about the talks with local farmers. He says, "If they find out that I'm from agriculture, then farmers will listen to me."

The 39-year-old Emmanuel developed with Kamals Deen Yakub (36) and 13 employees in Accra an online platform as a sharing service. Farmers can order and pay for tractors and attachments via telephone. Provided are the nearest machines. They belong to farmers who use them to increase the utilization of their tractors and do not want to lose sight of them thanks to GPS tracking. With the tractor comes a trained driver.

Tro-Tros are actually minibuses in Ghana. They form something like the backbone of passenger traffic. They drive short and long distances on which passengers can get on and off anywhere. The paid distance is paid. An agile system. Is it transferable to agriculture?

Read more here



ComCashew News Bulletin - Edition 15
21.11.2019

ComCashew News Bulletin - Edition 15

This edition focuses on current and anticipated innovations and technologies in the cashew sector. The growing cashew industry is attracting the interest of equipment manufacturers, researchers and policy makers alike. This attention in a constantly changing market dynamics inevitably leads to changes along the cashew value chain.

Featured in this edition are:

  • Innovations and technologies for cashew production
  • Participatory Validation Point of ACA’s Environmental Study of Waste Management in Cashew Processing 
  • The evolution of technology / innovations in processing perceived by some equipment manufacturers
  • Good example of successful HACCP certification in record time in Africa
  • Innovations in Gender implementation in the cashew sector
  • Update of the cashew market
  • Focus on the assistance provided by Caro for a competitive cashew industry in Africa 

Don’t miss out on our special recipe for a creamy cashew dessert! Enjoy J!

Download here:

Enjoy reading the GIZ/ComCashew News Bulletin - For a shared understanding of the cashew sector!

 



Digitization in Africa: Bits and bytes for small farmers
20.11.2019

Digitization in Africa: Bits and bytes for small farmers

Millions of small farmers in Africa are reaping just enough for their own needs with the simplest means - in good years. That's not sustainable. Help now comes from an unexpected direction: software developers are launching apps to help reduce poverty.

Daniel Obeng is at the harvest. With a machete he chops red, ripe cocoa fruits and opens the bowl with a few artful blows. The cocoa beans he lays for fermentation under banana leaves. For twelve years, the farmer from Ghana makes it that way already.

"At that time I got the seedlings from the state. They helped me build this farm. I visited the farming school and gradually transformed my morning land into a cocoa plantation. My wife and I do everything here ourselves, like we do not have machines - just muscle power. "

Just like Daniel Obeng, millions of small farmers in Ghana alone cultivate their fields. They live from hand to mouth. If there are no rains, they are starving. But that is about to change - with digital technology, says Toby Johnson from the Center for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation, CTA for short, which is run jointly by the EU and developing countries.

Read more here



Training of master trainers in the cashew sector: The 9th edition ended in Abidjan
19.11.2019

Training of master trainers in the cashew sector: The 9th edition ended in Abidjan

The objective of the Master Trainers Programme is to have pools of experts on the cashew nut value chain in Africa; to facilitate regional exchanges focused on learning and innovation and therefore experts able to positively influence policies and strategies for the development of the cashew nut sector in different countries," said Mary Adzanyo, representing the Executive Director of Giz/Comcashew.


According to her, the particularity of this program is that it covers all the themes of the value chain. "In a world marked by the need to make agricultural sectors more competitive in order to create more wealth in our countries and fight poverty, it is necessary to develop policies and strategies to avoid always talking about Africa as a supplier of raw cashew nuts, but we will have to consider being a primary processor and also increase the consumption of cashew and related products," Mary Adzanyo stressed.

Similarly, Arthur Coulibaly, Industry and Private Investment Advisor to the Prime Minister, focused on cashew processing. He presented the Ivorian government's vision on this issue, which included the opening of a pilot cashew processing unit in Yamoussoukro.

It should be noted that this programme of experts includes 90 countries, including Côte d'Ivoire, the world leader in cashew production

Read more: Formation des maitres



ComCashew REACH meets with Sissala East Municipal Assembly
09.10.2019

ComCashew REACH meets with Sissala East Municipal Assembly

On September 5, 2019, the team of experts from GIZ/ComCashew REACH held a meeting with the Sissala East Municipal Assembly (SEMA) in the Upper West Region to introduce the Resilience Against Climate Change (REACH) project.

The project aims at enabling a sustainable and inclusive improvement of the rural economy in northern Ghana through enhanced implementation of gender sensitive climate adaptation and mitigation practices. The component 1 of the REACH project seeks to review the communal planning of the various communities in the upcoming Community Action Plan (CAP) preparation which would feed into a broad district level Mid-Term Development Plan for the next five years. The focus of this broad object is to ensure that in the quest to building resilience to climate change through adaptation and mitigation measures at communal level, these CAPs are gender sensitive in the light of the socio-cultural settings of the Joint Project Area.

It will be run in a minimum of 200 communities in fourteen districts and has three components:

  1. Assisting district and municipality planning teams to develop climate-smart development plans contributing to Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC's),
  2. Improving community and individual knowledge and practices in conservation agriculture,
  3. Conducting research about the impacts of climate change on social transformation to inform future planning decisions.

The component 1 of the REACH project seeks to review the communal planning of the various communities in the upcoming Community Action Plan (CAP) preparation which would feed into a broad district level Mid-Term Development Plan for the next five years. The focus of this broad object is to ensure that in the quest to building resilience to climate change through adaptation and mitigation measures at communal level, these CAPs are gender sensitive in the light of the socio-cultural settings of the Joint Project Area.

 The Sissala East Municipality is part of eleven districts in the Upper West Region and three adjoining districts in the Northern Development Authority Economic zone to benefit from components two and three (listed above) of the project.

The municipality was represented by the Municipal Chief Executive, Hon. Karim Nanyua, and the Coordinating Director, Roger Nabiebakye. Hon. Karim Nanyua expressed the assembly's commitment to ensuring that the objective of the REACH project is achieved within the municipality. He observed that capacity building for the Municipal Planning Coordinating Unit (MPCU) will help drive the development agenda of the municipality. Roger F. Nabiebakye also noted that REACH is timely and will be of immense benefit to the area.

The meeting with the Sissala East Municipality follows similar engagements with the Regional Coordinating Councils of the Upper West, Savannah and North - East Regions and six districts and municipalities namely; Wa West, Wa Municipal, Nadowli- Kaleo, Lawra, Jirapa and Sawla/Tuna/Kalba.



International call for application For the position of the Executive Secretary of the Consultative International Cashew Council (CICC)
29.08.2019

International call for application For the position of the Executive Secretary of the Consultative International Cashew Council (CICC)

The recruitment of the Executive Secretary of the CICC will be conducted according to a competitive and open process in view of attracting the best applications that are in compliance with the objectives of the CICC. Hence, the firm GECA-PROSPECTIVE, specialized in Human Resource Management and having proven experience in recruiting high-level executives, has been tasked by the CICC for the management this recruitment process. GECA-PROSPECTIVE has been working in close collaboration with the Côte d'Ivoire Cotton and Cashew Council.

To know more about the Job Description please click here



Announcement for the 7th Call of the Cashew Matching Grants Fund from 21st June to 5th July 2019
21.06.2019

Announcement for the 7th Call of the Cashew Matching Grants Fund from 21st June to 5th July 2019

Through the Fund, over 150,000 cashew farmers have been supported in six countries – Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Kenya, and Mozambique.

Plan for 7th Call
Call for Concepts start from the 21st June, 2019 to 5th July, 2019, followed by review and decision making by the Matching Fund Board by the 17th July, 2019. Successful applicants would receive the go ahead to develop full proposals between the 17th July and the 7th August 2019. Contracting of successful projects will be done thereafter. Project implementation should commence by end of October 2019.

Expected results
This call is being financed by two organisations with expected results as follows: 

BMZ and SECO Funding for All Countries

  • Improved planting material multiplied, distributed and planted by smallholder farmers
  • Enhanced knowledge transfer to cashew farmers
  • Strong linkages and ties between processors/buyers and farmers (Effective Business linkages with farmers)
  • Improved market access (access to price and production information, etc.)
  • Improved cashew value/supply chain
  • Diversification
  • Climate smart Agriculture 

Additionally, SECO funds the following projects specifically for Ghana

  • Fostering of business linkages among cashew actors along the value chain
  • Business models for supply chain linkages,
  • Enhancement of cashew processing (nut, apples, shells and other by-products comprised)

Eligible countries for this call include Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Mozambique and Sierra Leone.

 To learn more about the fund, if you are an eligible applicant, and how to apply, please refer to the attached documents in English and French:

  1. Announcement for the 7th call in English 
  2. The application template in English 
  3. Matching Grant Guide in English 

 



ComCashew at EDD 2019
11.06.2019

ComCashew at EDD 2019

 

Organised by the European Commission, the European Development Days (EDD) brings the development community each year to share ideas and expereinces in ways that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. The theme for this year is; "Addressing Inequalities: Building A World which leaves no behind".

Learn more about ComCashew's participation here.



Joint Coordination Council of the Trilateral Cooperation Meeting held in Accra
14.05.2019

Joint Coordination Council of the Trilateral Cooperation Meeting held in Accra

Members of the JCC at MoFA offices

From 25th to 26th April 2019, The Competitive Cashew Initiative (ComCashew) and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) hosted the second Joint Coordination Council (JCC) Meeting for the Trilateral Cooperation in Accra, Ghana

The Trilateral Cooperation is an agreement between Ghana, Brazil and Germany – comprising the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC), the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), through the Competitive Cashew initiative (GIZ/ComCashew) – to improve production and productivity of cashew plantations as well as local apple processing in Ghana.

Beginning implementation in 2017, the cooperation seeks to improve the quality of research in the development of cashew clones that are high yielding, tolerant to major diseases and pests, and well-adapted to local conditions. Through this partnership, the three partners hope to improve the efficiency and technologies of cashew and by-product processing. To this end, the three parties have committed some €700 000.

The Joint Coordination Council (JCC) plans and implements the set activities of the trilateral cooperation, and comprises representatives of the Department of Crop Services at MoFA, representatives from GIZ, ABC and researchers from EMBRAPA. The Council meets annually to discuss the achievement of objectives agreed upon by all parties under the Trilateral Cooperation, challenges and the way forward towards the attainment of overall objectives.

After one and half years of project implementation: 

  •  Training courses on modern techniques of harvesting, post-harvest handling and processing of Cashew have been held in Brazil and Ghana
  • 150,000 improved cashew seedlings have been distributed to farmers in seventeen (17) districts of Ghana
  • 6 ha of scion gardens were established in cashew producing districts by December 2018, to be used for the multiplication of improved cashew planting materials 
  • 5 high yielding and pests and disease-tolerant cashew dwarf clones have been selected in Brazil and sent to Ghana for planting and evaluating under local agro climatic conditions 
  • First drafts of training materials on 1) harvest and post-harvest practices and 2) cashew apple processing technologies have been developed
  • Training of Trainers Program on 1) production, 2) harvest and post-harvest practices and 3) cashew apple processing technologies for 20 experts has been carried out
  • 200 cashew farmers have been trained on cashew apple production, and harvest and post-harvest practices 

Present at this year’s JCC meeting were the Deputy Minister of Food & Agriculture (in charge of Perennial Crops) – Honourable Kennedy Osei Nyarko, the Deputy Minister of Local Government & Rural Development – Honourable Collins Ntim, the Brazilian ambassador to Ghana Maria Teofilo de Luna, Fred Asamoah, Director of Crop Services at MoFA, representatives from ABC, EMBRAPA, other representatives from the Crop Services Directorate, and the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG), as well as Alice Guimaraes, project director for GIZ/Brazil.

 



A Master Training Programme to promote the African Cashew Value Chain
08.04.2019

A Master Training Programme to promote the African Cashew Value Chain

 

With the aim of promoting the competitiveness of African cashew and the value chain, this unique training programme brought together 88 cashew experts from nine (9) countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mozambique, Guinea, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, to share knowledge, discuss best practices and lessons learnt, and to build national and regional networks for future collaboration. These participants comprise of farmers, processors, traders.

 Using an approach which combines theoretical knowledge and practical work, participants learnt about the cashew value chain concept, the dynamics of the cashew market and the development of training materials in this first session. Participants also visited the largest cashew processing factory in the sub region - USIBRAS - in Prampram, Ghana. During the next two sessions which are scheduled to hold in June and September, participants will learn about all aspects of the cashew value chain ranging from production and processing of raw cashew nuts, to economics, cashew market dynamics, marketing and financing mechanisms. All sessions cover cross-cutting issues such as gender, policy development, sector regulations and nutrition value of cashew products.

Participants are expected to return to their host institutions and have a multiplier effect on the cashew industry by sharing their knowledge and experiences gained from attending this tailor-made training.

“The new skills that I have acquired are facilitation skills, adult training programme development, nut quality measurement, processing of nuts and management, and top working maintenance. MTP has contributed significantly to improving my performance in my workplace and my approach to developing training plan for adults.” - Lúcia Sebastiao António, Master Trainer (Graduate of 4th Edition of MTP), Senior Technician, National Institute of Cashew (INCAJU).

Rolled out in seven months, each edition of MTP is divided into three successive sessions to be held in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire. The period between these sessions are used for so called “inter-sessions”, where participants return to their host institutions to conduct field work, either individually or in groups, to deepen their knowledge on a selected topic. At the end of the third session, participants become certified and acknowledged cashew experts, who train farmers, provide assistance to processors, or advice institutions in their respective countries.

So far 456 cashew experts, 27% of whom are women, have graduated from this programme. Some 273 experts are expected to benefit from this year’s three editions. These experts are expected to drive the desired change in the African cashew sector, in terms of improved cashew quality, quantity and better sector policies.

 



“Resilience Against Climate Change” (REACH), a project on Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change for Rural Livelihoods in the Savannah ecosystem of Ghana kicks off
18.03.2019

“Resilience Against Climate Change” (REACH), a project on Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change for Rural Livelihoods in the Savannah ecosystem of Ghana kicks off

REACH is part of the EU-Ghana National Indicative Programme “Productive Investment for Agriculture in Savannah Ecological Zones”,  and is funded through the 11th European Development Fund. The broad EU programme aims to increase agricultural incomes and promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth in rural communities of the Programme Area by 2024. It is composed of three projects: the Market-Oriented Agriculture Program (MOAP), implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH; the Infrastructure project, implemented  by the World Bank and the Agence française de développement (AFD); and the “Resilience Against Climate Change” (REACH) Project implemented by GIZ/ComCashew.

The objective of EU REACH is to enable a sustainable and inclusive improvement in the rural economy through enhanced implementation of gender-sensitive climate adaptation and mitigation practices in a minimum of 200 communities within 14 districts of the Savannah Ecological Zone.  

The project comprises three components that will be realized until the end of 2024. The first component will focus on improving the MMDA capacities on Strategic Environmental Assessment  (SEA) in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Under the second component, the project will facilitate the development of Community Action Plans (CAPs) and further support their implementation by providing a funding mechanism. Additionally, it will contribute to the set-up of a “Training and Extension of Conservation Agriculture in the Savannahs” (TECAS) facility which aims to increase profitability of agribusinesses by offering services that enable conservation agriculture practices. Both components will work in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLRGD). This will be aligned with the third component of research on social transformation, that will contribute to a better understanding and application of social transformation analysis in the development planning.

The REACH project therefore contributes to improved, profound sustainable planning on land uses, economic activities and respective capacities required for a wide-range of stakeholders in Northern Ghana.

 REACH will be implemented by the following organisations: Competitive Cashew initiative – GIZ/ComCashew, a private-public partnership project of GIZ with funding of the German Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ) and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) , promoting the competitiveness of the Cashew value chain in six countries.  In collaboration and joint funding with private companies and public sector partners, significant impact has been made for over 40,000 farmers and 14 processing companies. Since its inception in 2009, over 50,000 new jobs have been created in Ghana in production and processing (4,500). Recently, through the MLGRD “Planting for Export and Rural Development” (PERD), ComCashew enacted on agricultural decentralization by contributing to improved planting material development and job creation in the cashew sector of Northern Ghana.

IWMI in collaboration with CSIR-STEPRI, UG and UDS will implement the Social Transformation Research component that will address climate resilience, migration, gender and youth in Ghana. IWMI is anon-profit,scientific researchorganization focusingonthesustainableuseof water andland resourcesindeveloping countries. It’s research in Ghana has encompassed the three thematic areas of strengthening rural-urban linkages, promoting sustainable growth and building resilience. IWMI works with public and private sectors, to develop and test technological, institutional and business innovations that enable safe recovery and reuse of water, nutrients and organic matter for food and energy production. Moreover, IWMI research untangles the technical, economic, social, financial and institutional impediments to the expansion of agricultural water infrastructure and especially on how men, women, and youths could be included in their management and decision making process; irrigation in Ghana and how it can better enhance rural livelihoods under the variable and changing climate context.

 



Gender and Policies in the Cashew Sector
13.03.2019

Gender and Policies in the Cashew Sector

As part of International Women's Day activites, ComCashew took a look at women's participation in the cashew value chain, the speciifc challenges and how governmental policies can address the existing gender gaps within the sector. The results of that are shared in a news article published on MyJoyonline and Citinewsroom websites. Read it here:

Gender and Policies in the Cashew Sector



Promoting Cashew and Oil Palm Value Chains: Access to Finance Workshop
12.03.2019

Promoting Cashew and Oil Palm Value Chains: Access to Finance Workshop

From March 7-8 2019, ComCashew, in collaboration with Solidaridad and the African Cashew Alliance (ACA), successfully hosted the first edition of Access to Finance Workshop. The Access to Finance Workshop aims to bring actors in the agricultural sector, particularly cashew and oil palm, together with finance sector actors to network and work towards creating innovative financing solutions for local agribusinesses. The event was held at the Mensvic Grand Hotel in East Legon, Accra, under the theme; ‘the role of financial institutions in the Agricultural sector’.

The Opening Ceremony had speeches from representatives from the Ministries of Food and Agriculture, Trade and Industry, and Local Government and Rural Development. Also present were the Deputy Head of Cooperation/Counsellor of the Swiss Cooperation, the President of the Association of Cashew processors, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the President of the Oil Palm Association, and The Executive Director of Competitive Cashew Initiative (ComCashew), and members of the press.

 

Presentations on the challenges and the opportunities in investing in the cashew and oil palm processors, were given by Mary Adzanyo, Director of Private Sector Development, ComCashew, and Samuel Avaala of Benso Oil Palm Processing (BOPP), respectively.

 This was followed by a panel discussion on how financial institutions can improve agribusiness. Panel Members shared their experiences with accessing finance for their factories, what has worked and the lessons they have learned along the way.

 The second day of the Access to Finance Workshop saw presentations from four financial institutions – Injaro Investments, Oiko Credit, Wangara Green Ventures and MBC Africa – on innovative financing solutions for agribusinesses. A “B-to-B” business linkage round table followed, during which the agribusinesses and financial institutions present were free to interact and network. At the end of the forum, it was clear that both agribusinesses and financial institutions have a lot of learning to do, in order to build a stronger relationship.

 

For agribusinesses, there is a need to level up in terms of professionalism and accountability. This requires self-reflection, structured planning and a clear understanding of their businesses.

Actors in the finance sector also need to be open to learning and understanding the agricultural sector; its risks and potential. The Access to Finance workshop formspart of an ongoing process to promote the development and expansion of the business of Cashew and Oil Palm processors within Ghana. Processors have previously been taken through human development and capacity building workshops, which helped in shaping and conceptualizing their business models into business plans and proposals.Based on the outcome of the forum ComCashew, Solidaridad and the African Cashew Alliance will continue to guide participants to eventually secure suitable and long-term funding needed for business expansion and development.   

                                                                                                            



International Women’s Day 2019: Celebrating Kone Minata
09.03.2019

International Women’s Day 2019: Celebrating Kone Minata

Madam Minata Kone

On this international women’s day 2019, GIZ/ ComCashew celebrates the success and impact that women have made in the African cashew sector, despite all odds. One of such women is Minata Kone, the founder of SOTRIA-B, a cashew processing factory in Banfora, Burkina Faso.

 Small beginnings

Minata Kone’s life has not been without struggle. After losing her father at the age of 8, she had to work to help her mother provide the family’s needs. She would engage in petty trading every day after school to earn some money. With determination, she pursued formal education, ending up with a Master’s degree in Technology. She went on to work at the Ministry of Agriculture as an archivist.

After 15 years of service, Minata decided, with encouragement from her mother, to go into cashew processing.

 Starting a one of a kind factory

In 2003, she established the Industrial Cashew Processing Society in Burkina Faso (SOTRIA-B), specializing in raw cashew nuts processing into white kernel, cashew butter and cashew flour. SOTRIA-B was the first Burkinabe private enterprise specializing in cashew processing, and is the longest surviving cashew processing factory in Burkina Faso. It has an installed capacity of 2500 metric tons, with daily production capacity at 2 tonnes. SOTRIA-B currently employs over 300 people, 90% of whom are women.

Today, Minata’s products are exported exclusively to the American market, with further distribution across the world.

In the early stages of her business, Minata had to go through the tough transition from archivist to industrialist, which required she learn the necessary skills for a successful business. One of her motivations for joining the cashew business was also to generate employment for women, and so she had to ensure she did the right things to provide stable employment for women.

She had no formal training in cashew, nor any women mentors in the sector, so she had to travel to factories in around the world to educate herself on cashew production and processing. She is grateful for the experience now, because she discovered that travel is the best teacher.

 Employment and related facilities for women

In keeping true to her motivations, a majority of employees in her enterprise are women. Apart from remuneration, SOTRIA-B offers benefits like access to bank loans, an infirmary, a day care centre for working mothers, financial support for school supplies, and a literacy center for adult education.

Minata strongly believes that trusting women and providing them with necessary funding for their business will help improve women’s lives. She is of the opinion that although women are often pioneers, they hardly become leaders because lower access to opportunities.

 Hard work, commitment pay off

With 16 years of experience and commitment in this field, it is a moment of pride to witness her hard work pay off.

She credits her success to the passion and commitment she has demonstrated over the years, as well as a permanent and stable workforce. She is involved at all levels of the job, which includes purchasing of RCN/Kernel, processing and operation monitoring, marketing and negotiation with kernel buyers, technology selection as well as financial transaction with banks.

Minata has been awarded a national honor, the Medal of the National Order, for her contributions to the social-economic development of Burkina Faso. She was also recently elected as President of the Inter-professional body of Burkina Faso, as well as Member of the Executive Committee of the African Cashew Alliance (ACA).

Minata Kone is a modern entrepreneur who is always looking to improve her business. She hopes to run a higher growth company in the coming years. A symbol for courage, strength and success, Mrs Kone’s story can serve as a motivation to all women aspiring to a career in the cashew industry.

On this international women’s day 2019, GIZ/ ComCashew celebrates the success and impact that women have made in the African cashew sector, despite all odds. One of such women is Minata Kone, the founder of SOTRIA-B, a cashew processing factory in Banfora, Burkina Faso.

 Small beginnings

Minata Kone’s life has not been without struggle. After losing her father at the age of 8, she had to work to help her mother provide the family’s needs. She would engage in petty trading every day after school to earn some money. With determination, she pursued formal education, ending up with a Master’s degree in Technology. She went on to work at the Ministry of Agriculture as an archivist.

After 15 years of service, Minata decided, with encouragement from her mother, to go into cashew processing.

 Starting a one of a kind factory

In 2003, she established the Industrial Cashew Processing Society in Burkina Faso (SOTRIA-B), specializing in raw cashew nuts processing into white kernel, cashew butter and cashew flour. SOTRIA-B was the first Burkinabe private enterprise specializing in cashew processing, and is the longest surviving cashew processing factory in Burkina Faso. It has an installed capacity of 2500 metric tons, with daily production capacity at 2 tonnes. SOTRIA-B currently employs over 300 people, 90% of whom are women.

Today, Minata’s products are exported exclusively to the American market, with further distribution across the world.

In the early stages of her business, Minata had to go through the tough transition from archivist to industrialist, which required she learn the necessary skills for a successful business. One of her motivations for joining the cashew business was also to generate employment for women, and so she had to ensure she did the right things to provide stable employment for women.

She had no formal training in cashew, nor any women mentors in the sector, so she had to travel to factories in around the world to educate herself on cashew production and processing. She is grateful for the experience now, because she discovered that travel is the best teacher.

 Employment and related facilities for women

In keeping true to her motivations, a majority of employees in her enterprise are women. Apart from remuneration, SOTRIA-B offers benefits like access to bank loans, an infirmary, a day care centre for working mothers, financial support for school supplies, and a literacy center for adult education.

Minata strongly believes that trusting women and providing them with necessary funding for their business will help improve women’s lives. She is of the opinion that although women are often pioneers, they hardly become leaders because lower access to opportunities.

 Hard work, commitment pay off

With 16 years of experience and commitment in this field, it is a moment of pride to witness her hard work pay off.

She credits her success to the passion and commitment she has demonstrated over the years, as well as a permanent and stable workforce. She is involved at all levels of the job, which includes purchasing of RCN/Kernel, processing and operation monitoring, marketing and negotiation with kernel buyers, technology selection as well as financial transaction with banks.

Minata has been awarded a national honor, the Medal of the National Order, for her contributions to the social-economic development of Burkina Faso. She was also recently elected as President of the Inter-professional body of Burkina Faso, as well as Member of the Executive Committee of the African Cashew Alliance (ACA).

Minata Kone is a modern entrepreneur who is always looking to improve her business. She hopes to run a higher growth company in the coming years. A symbol for courage, strength and success, Mrs Kone’s story can serve as a motivation to all women aspiring to a career in the cashew industry.

 



ComCashew showcased at the International Green Week (IGW) Fair in Berlin
30.01.2019

ComCashew showcased at the International Green Week (IGW) Fair in Berlin

The BMZ selected Cashew as its main value chain for the fair because of its remarkable success story. In the past ten years, through the activities of GIZ’s Competitive Cashew initiative project and its public and private partners, more than 530,000 new jobs have been created in Africa by promoting of a competitive African Cashew sector.

Founded in Berlin in the Golden 20s (1926), IGW is a one-of-a-kind international exhibition of the food, agriculture and gardening industries. It is the largest agricultural trade fair in the world, with over 400,000 international and national visitors.

This provided the BMZ a platform to engage the thousands of visitors at the fair on topics of sustainable and fair consumption as well as to remind the general public especially the trade fair visitors about their responsibility for ONEWORLD without hunger.

For the fourth time in a row, the BMZ maintained its goal of "ONE World without Hunger" until 2030, using the slogan; "I want fair", which sort to encourage German citizens to make a personal contribution to improving the living situation in Africa by purchasing fair-trade products.

“All too often, our prosperity still comes at the expense of people in developing countries. Cashew, coffee, cocoa, the cotton in our shirts or metals in our electronic devices – many everyday products are made in intolerable conditions or using exploitative child labour. It’s also a wake-up call for consumers: buy carefully. When you take your first bite of chocolate, you should be aware whether children have had to graft in West African cocoa plantations to make it” German Development Minister Gerd Müller emphasises.

In many African countries, the cashew tree is seen as a "miracle plant" because of the enormous potential the tree possesses. The tree among other things; adapts to climate change and grows in places where most plants can no longer grow, It offers small farmers a future-oriented source of income. Additionally, if all cashews grown in Africa were also processed locally, a further 400,000 jobs could be created.