Production


"Success in the global marketplace and equal benefits - i.e. for the cashew farmers in Africa - depend on the production of a high volume of superior cashew nuts."
International cashew buyer

Since its inception, ComCashew has focused on helping African cashews meet international quality standards by providing advice and training on every stage of the production process. Over 512,000 farmers have received training on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) as well as harvest and post-harvest handlings. The objectives were: Applying GAP in a remarkably higher yield and better quality of raw cashew nuts. Hence, smallholder cashew farming families have increased their incomes in the same way as in the non-productive season. To sustainably increase cashew yields, ComCashew started activities on improved cashew planting material development, which has resulted in the distribution of about 10 million improved cashew seedlings to farmers in the six project countries.

On-going Activities

Improved planting materials are still one of the most important factors in ensuring high quality of African cashews. Through the Cashew Matching Fund, public research institutes work on the development of improved planting material for future African cashew crops and on the establishment of knowledge exchange networks. Since 2009, about 10 million grafted cashew seedlings have been produced and distributed for the establishment of new plantations. Under the current call of the Matching Fund, similar activities are underway in 5 of the project countries.

ComCashew has a new goal of reaching 580,000 farmers by the end of 2020. In this regard the project with support from its partners continue to provide training GAP to smallholder farmers to increase their yields and to improve their quality. As a result of successful farmer trainings, the overall cashew yields show a positive development. At present, Ghana reaches an average of 750 kg/ ha with improved planting materials. ComCashew countries can reach such high levels when improved planting and good agricultural practices (GAP) are applied. The farmers' adoption rate of GAP in the five countries lies between 82% for pruning in Côte d'Ivoire, 72% for fire belt construction and 89% for weeding in Burkina Faso. Farmers are consistently encouraged to intercrop food crops with cashew trees. Groundnut, soya, cassava, yam, peppers, ginger, as well as cereals are recommended because of their high potential for food security and income diversification.

ComCashew and partners also place emphasis on the organization of farmers and the establishment of farmer associations in order to facilitate better and fair pricing of cashew nuts, to avoid speculation and to reduce middlemen.

All these activities have increased the net incomes of cashew farmers in the project countries.