Although there's an abundance of cashew nuts in Benin and Burkina Faso, only 10% are processed in these West African countries. The remainder are sent raw to foreign markets, which is where the nuts really increase in value, while they could be processed perfectly well locally with the right support.
How can you increase local processing of cashew nuts? Anatrans, the biggest cashew nut processor in Burkina Faso, found that the majority of cashews were being exported to Asia unprocessed. To change this, they joined forces with the 'Woord en Daad' foundation, several local NGOs and a number of local public parties in a public-private partnership (PPP).
Training and employment
Anatrans' project is fittingly named 'Cracking the Nut'. Its goal is to compete with the foreign market by lowering local processing costs and maintaining a high quality of the nuts. To this end, the farmers receive training. Among other things, they are learning how they can best maintain their orchard and increase their yield, and how they can improve their relationship with their cooperative and the factory.
Cashew processing means work for more than 2,000 local people, 85% of them are women. The more cashew nuts are processed locally, the more jobs are created. Thanks to Cracking the Nut, cashew farmers can ask higher prices for their product. Their nuts are of a higher quality and recently received organic certification.
Local is valuable
The parties cooperating in Cracking the Nut provide one half of the investments. The other half comes through the Facility for Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Food Security (FDOV), a Ministry of Foreign Affairs subsidy scheme. Cracking the Nut fosters local entrepreneurship and creates employment for the local population. Politicians in both countries now understand what local entrepreneurship provides. That's why they introduced an export tariff on raw cashew nuts. By doing this, the authorities provided an additional boost to the local processing of cashew nuts.
Would you like to contribute to sustainable objectives in developing countries through a public-private partnership as well? The FDOV scheme is now closed, but you can obtain support through the SDG Partnership Facility. Submit your application (concept note) by 1 October 2019.