The African Cashew Alliance (ACA) has called on President of the Consultative International Cashew Council (CICC) to create an African Cashew Development Fund, which will help develop a system where Raw Cashew Nuts (RCN) are processed in Africa instead of shipping them to Vietnam and India.
President of ACA, Otunba Tola Faseru, who made the appeal at the just concluded 17th African Cashew Alliance (ACA) conference, held in Dakar, Senegal, said with the creation of the fund, banks such as, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Afrexim Bank would be ready to provide funding that’ll metamorphosise into Cashew Transformation Revolution Agenda.
ACA is an international industry alliance, which provides a great and unparalleled platform that facilitates trade and profitability for all actors in the industry through different programmes and activities like the ACA yearly conference.
Faseru, who is also the Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Osun State, said the development would transform the African Cashew processing capacity, while reiterating the commitment of ACA to sensitise all African countries on the need to tap into the goldmine – cashew and increase productivity in the value chain to build a sustainable economy, which is driven by women and youth.
“ACA is positioned to empower women and youths to increase cashew yield across Africa. The ACA yearly conference is not just a mere gathering of major players in the cashew value chain, but a coming together of cashew industry stakeholders, private sector (business owners, producers, processors, exporters, public sector) to re-strategise and strengthen alliances for the progress and productivity of the cashew industry globally.
This year’s conference, the 17th ACA Annual Cashew Conference & Expo with the theme: ‘Sustaining the African Cashew Industry: Assessing the Journey so far and looking forward’, helped “to reflect on the sustainability agenda progress, identify the challenges faced and to re-strategise for the future,” he said.
Faseru emphasised the need to empower women, noting, “if you empower a woman, you empower the family, hence African Cashew Alliance intends to increase funding, training and capacity development and make the cashew industry attractive to the youth, thereby making them engaged and productive and self-reliant.”
While thanking government of Senegal for the hospitality and commitment given to the cashew industry as the host, Faseru reiterated the commitment of ACA towards the sustainability of African cashew farmers and stakeholders to building a viable and competitive cashew industry.
The 17th ACA Cashew Conference and Expo was held from Monday, September 18 to Thursday 21, 2023 in Dakar, Senegal. The Conference was held in partnership with the Interprofession Cajou du Sénégal (ICAS) and sponsorship from United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), ECOWAS region (GIZ/MOVE), formerly GIZ/ComCashew, Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States, European Union, Macom technology, Cashew Machines Vietnam – CMV, MEDA Senegal, HPower Group, and International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).
Faseru expressed appreciation to the Ivory Coast Government, Senegal Ministries and parastatals – Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Equipment, Ministry of Industry, Development and SMI, Ministry of the Environment, Sustainable Development and Ecological Transition, Ministry of Trade, Consumer Affairs and SMEs and the Foreign Affairs ministry.