fighting cashew processors

Anger is rising among Ivorian cashew nuts. Dozens of cashew processing plants in Côte d’Ivoire are closed. The country, a world leader in cashew production, processes only 10% of its production locally. Despite the political will to increase this share, Ivorian prosecutors condemn the absence of state aid in the face of fierce Asian competition.

as reported from Abidjan, Peter Pinto

In 2021, Ivory Coastproduced just under one million tonnes of cashews. More than 90% of this amount is exported, and in particular to Asia, India and Vietnam are the two largest cashews and the two largest buyers of Ivorian nuts. These two countries account for about 80% of production.

But despite the Ivory Coast’s stated goal of locally converting 50% of its production by 2025, the sector has been complaining about its difficulties for months. Several processors went bankrupt last year or are about to do so.

12 other factories that were in operation a few months ago are currently closed. Today they sound the alarm. The purpose of their anger: the lack of funding and the difficulty of delivering nuts, production is rounded up by middlemen who are paid more expensively by Asian operators.

However, an assistance plan has been drawn up with the government. But Ivorian prosecutors condemn its non-application in a letter addressed to the Coton-Anacarde Council. “The campaign has started in a month and our factories will remain empty again due to the lack of a support plan,” it says in this document dated March 15. A letter in which the processors specifically appeal to the Cotton-Cashew Council and also ask it to pay the fixed costs of these factories at a standstill, so that they do not close definitively.

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