West Africa cashes on the cashew as US plans to infuse $61 million in the cashew processing in the region   

11 Feb 2022: The Prosper Cashew project, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and led by American NGO TechnoServe aims to invest $61 million over five years to accelerate cashew processing in West Africa.

The project will mainly focus on Ivory Coast, where despite the governments subsidy grants, local processors were driven to bankruptcy by Asian competition who pay higher prices and hoard up all the raw supply. The project will have roots in Nigeria and Ghana as well.

The funding would mainly go into the improvement of the processing facilities, help the local processors get more access to working capital, and get them linked to investors.

"Over five years, the Prosper Cashew project plans to create more than 4,500 new jobs (at least 50% of them for women), mobilize $61 million in cashew sector investments and help processors to sell over $200 million worth of cashew products to national, regional and international markets," said Will Warshauer, CEO of TechnoServe.

"We believe based upon our study, 75% of the action will be in Ivory Coast, because of the scale and size that it has. So 75% of the money will get disbursed here because of the conducive processing environment," said Krishanu Chakravarty, project director for Prosper Cashew based in Abidjan.

Adama Coulibaly, the general director of Ivory Coast's Cotton and Cashew Council, said it would significantly help the problem of financing in the sector and would help prevent more bankruptcies. (Reporting by Ange Aboa; Writing by Nellie Peyton, Editing by William Maclean)

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