Human Capacity Development

“The Master Training Programme has been carefully designed to develop cashew experts who are endowed with knowledge and skill in the entire cashew value chain.”
Ernest Mintah, Managing Director, African Cashew Alliance.

It is human capacities that make development and progress possible. That is why human capacity development (HCD), the upskilling of specialists, organisations and networks, in the cashew sector is an important element of ComCashew’s activities. ComCashew, through its unique Cashew Master Training Programme, is strengthening the capacities of various actors along the cashew value chain with the special aim of creating a pool of experts that will promote the competitiveness of the African cashew sector.

Master Training Program

The “Master Training Program” (MTP) is a unique training programme of the ComCashew project. The programme aims at creating a pool of qualified experts in the cashew value chain to facilitate knowledge exchange, learning and innovation within the cashew sector in Africa. After completion of the Master Training Program, each participant is recognized as:

  • Resource-persons with knowledge in cashew production, processing, marketing, economics, and organization of the cashew sector
  • Qualified expert in the field of training of trainers in the cashew sector
  • An expert in designing and developing training programs for specific target groups
  • A reference person who is well connected at national and regional level within the cashew value chain
  • An expert in the design, adaptation and updating of educational/training tools

At the end of the training, the qualified Master Trainers provide technical trainings to other trainers (training of trainers) as well as farmers and other actors of the supply chain. They also advise and provide guidance for the growth of the cashew sector.

From 2013 to 2017 , four editions of MTP were held in 3 different countries (Ghana, Benin and Côte d’Ivoire) with 291 experts along the value chain trained. In 2018, ComCashew, jointly with the African Cashew Alliance and partly financed by our swiss partner SECO, organized 2 editions of the Master Training Programme. The 5th and 6th editions trained 165  experts as Cashew Master Trainers. In total, 456  experts have been trained – one out of 3 participants is a woman.

In 2019 the Master Training Programme will be upscaled to 3 editions, applications are currently open until 31.12.2018; the applicants must be mandated by their host institution.

Applicants for the Master Trainer Program are experienced consultants or experts on training/advising along the cashew value chain or any other crop, staff of processing companies (start-ups as well as already installed units) and consultants working in cashew. They are employees coming from private and public institutions. Applications will go through a transparent selection process in line with fixed criteria.

The MTP covers a period of 7-8 months.

The programme includes three one week class-room sessions, offering a facilitated platform for exchange. Each session focuses on a specific set of modules:

  • Session 1: Organization of the cashew market and implementing instruments for a Master Trainer
  • Session 2: Planting material development and good agricultural practices
  • Session 3: Cashew processing, sector organisation and cross-cutting issues

Between the classroom sessions, so-called intersessions or field activities of maximum length of three months are scheduled. During the intersession, participants return to their host institutions, share their knowledge with colleagues and do hands-on work in the field to apply what they have learned in the training sessions.



Farmer Business School (FBS) strengthens smallholders’ business attitudes and management skills for better and diversified incomes and nutrition. In five sessions, ComCashew and its partners assist smallholders learn about:

  • Principles of farming as business
  • Basics of human nutrition and farm management for a balanced diet
  • Investment strategies based on cost-benefit analysis of production techniques
  • Financial management, savings and credit
  • Benefits from quality produce and from membership in producer organizations
  • Investments in replanting of tree crops

 FBS complements training on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), financial and technical services that smallholders demand. To date 5,765 cashew smallholders has graduated from FBS.