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Trend Analysis of Production, Consumption, and Export of Cashew Crop in West Africa

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  • Ministry of Agriculture, Monrovia, Liberia

Abstract and Figures

West Africa is a core producer of Cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.), supplying 45% of the commodity on the global market. Despite this huge share of the international market, only 10% of the commodity is processed and consumed domestically. The low rate of consumption is reflected by low investment in the cashew industry, making the crop underutilised as a food and nutrition security crop in the region. The objective of this study was to analyse the trends in production, levels of consumption and export of the crop in West Africa, as a basis for informing strategic development interventions. This work utilised metadata from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation database, Nitidae and other relevant sources to explore the production, consumption and export patterns of cashew from the year 2000 up to 2017. The metadata used were analysed using descriptive statistics. The study revealed that eleven (Cote D’Ivoire, Nigeria, Benin, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Guinea, The Gambia, Senegal, and Togo) of the sixteen countries in West Africa were actively engaged in cashew production. It was also projected that production will decline in the next five years in countries such as Nigeria, Togo, Senegal, and Burkina Faso due to a reduction in the land under cashew cultivation, an increase in pest and disease infestations, coupled with a decline in genetic improvement and poor extension services. Production will remain stable in The Gambia and Guinea Bissau because most trees there are yet to hit the peak of production; and of reduced investment in research and development. Cashew consumption locally is dismal (<10% across the region) due to limited attention given to the processing industry in the region. To boost local production and consumption, as well maintain the 45% share of the international market in the next five years and beyond, it is essential to invest in genetic improvement, modification of agronomic practices, and investment in the processing industry, as well as research and development of the crop.
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African Crop Science Journal, Vol. 28 Issue Supplement, s1 pp. 187 - 202 ISSN 1021-9730/2020 $4.00
Printed in Uganda. All rights reserved © 2020, African Crop Science Society
African Crop Science Journal by African Crop Science Society is licensed under
a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Uganda License. Based on a work
at www.ajol.info/ and www.bioline.org.br/cs
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.4314/acsj.v28i1.14S
TREND ANALYSIS OF PRODUCTION, CONSUMPTION AND EXPORT OF
CASHEW CROP IN WEST AFRICA
N.P. KOLLIESUAH1, J.L. SAYSAY2, M.M. ZINNAH3, T. A. FREEMAN3,4 and D. CHINENYE5
1Department of Food Science and Post Harvest Technology, Gulu University, Uganda
2World Health Organisation Regional Office for Africa
3College of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Liberia
4Department of Agricultural Production, Makerere University, P. O. Box 7062, Uganda
5Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Michael Okpara University Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria
Corresponding author: kolliesuah44@gmail.com
ABSTRACT
West Africa is a core producer of Cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.), supplying 45% of the commodity
on the global market. Despite this huge share of the international market, only 10% of the commodity
is processed and consumed domestically. The low rate of consumption is reflected by low investment
in the cashew industry, making the crop underutilised as a food and nutrition security crop in the
region. The objective of this study was to analyse the trends in production, levels of consumption and
export of the crop in West Africa, as a basis for informing strategic development interventions. This
work utilised metadata from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation database, Nitidae
and other relevant sources to explore the production, consumption and export patterns of cashew
from the year 2000 up to 2017. The metadata used were analysed using descriptive statistics. The
study revealed that eleven (Cote D’Ivoire, Nigeria, Benin, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali,
Guinea, The Gambia, Senegal, and Togo) of the sixteen countries in West Africa were actively engaged
in cashew production. It was also projected that production will decline in the next five years in
countries such as Nigeria, Togo, Senegal, and Burkina Faso due to a reduction in the land under
cashew cultivation, an increase in pest and disease infestations, coupled with a decline in genetic
improvement and poor extension services. Production will remain stable in The Gambia and Guinea
Bissau because most trees there are yet to hit the peak of production; and of reduced investment in
research and development. Cashew consumption locally is dismal (<10% across the region) due to
limited attention given to the processing industry in the region. To boost local production and
consumption, as well maintain the 45% share of the international market in the next five years and
beyond, it is essential to invest in genetic improvement, modification of agronomic practices, and
investment in the processing industry, as well as research and development of the crop.
Key Words: Anacardium occidentale, Cashew, food security, West Africa
N.P. KOLLIESUAH et al.
188
RÉSUMÉ
L’Afrique de l’Ouest est l’un des principaux producteurs de Cajou (Anacardium occidentale L.), et
elle fournit 45% de la marchandise sur le marché mondial. Malgré cette énorme contribution sur le
marché international, les 10% des produits sont seulement transformés et consommés sur le marché
intérieur. Le faible taux de consommation se traduit par un faible investissement dans l’industrie du
cajou, ce qui rend la plante sous-utilisée comme la plante de la sécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle
dans la région. L’objectif de cette étude était d’analyser les taux de la production, les niveaux de
consommation et d’exportation de la récolte en Afrique de l’Ouest, comme base pour éclairer les
interventions de développement stratégique. Ce travail a utilisé des métadonnées de la base de données
de l’Organisation des Nations Unies pour l’alimentation et l’agriculture, Nitidae et d’autres sources
pertinentes pour explorer les modèles de production, de consommation et d’exportation de cajou de
2000 à 2017. Les métadonnées utilisées ont été analysées à l’aide de statistiques descriptives. L’étude
a révélé que onze pays (Côte d’Ivoire, Nigéria, Bénin, Guinée Bissau, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali,
Guinée, Gambie, Sénégal et Togo) des seize pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest étaient activement engagés
dans la production de cajou. On a également été projeté que la production diminuera au cours des cinq
prochaines années dans les pays des Nigéria, Togo, Sénégal et Burkina Faso à cause d’une réduction
des terres de cajou, d’une augmentation des infestations de ravageurs et de maladies, et une baisse de
l’amélioration génétique et des services de vulgarisation médiocres. La production restera stable en
Gambie et en Guinée Bissau parce que la plupart des arbres n’ont pas encore atteint le pic de production;
et de la réduction des investissements dans la recherche et le développement. La consommation locale
de cajou est lamentable (<10% dans la région) à cause d’une attention limitée accordée à l’industrie de
transformation dans la région. Pour stimuler la production et la consommation locales, ainsi que
maintenir la contribution de 45% du marché international au cours des cinq prochaines années et au-
delà, il est essentiel d’investir dans l’amélioration génétique, la modification des pratiques agronomiques
et l’investissement dans l’industrie de transformation, ainsi que la recherche et développement de la
culture de cajou.
Mots Clés: Anacardium occidentale, le Cajou, sécurité alimentaire, Afrique de l’Ouest
INTRODUCTION
Cashew (Anacardium occidentale L) is one of
the major cash crops in Africa; ranking third
in world production of edible nuts. It is a
perennial crop belonging to the anacardicaea
family and consists of 77 genera and 700
species; of which only 20 of the 700 species
are widely distributed in the tropics (Mitra et
al, 2007; Tinalu and Barford, 2008; Trox et
al., 2010). Cashew tree has a life span of about
thirty to forty years in which it takes about
three to four years to reach its full production
potentials (Salehi et al., 2019). The raw
cashew nut (RCN) is the main commercial
product of the cashew tree, though yields of
the cashew apple are eight to ten times the
weight of the raw nuts (Azam-Ali and Judge,
2001). As a multipurpose species, the cashew
apple is used for different purposes. The
ethno-medical properties found in the whole
part makes it a distinct plant, the leaves, kernel
and the fruits are all edible (Prommajak and
Leksawasdi, 2014). Products such as cashew
apple, nuts and nut shells liquids (NSL) are
obtained from the tree and are highly valued
on both domestic and international markets
(Agboton et al., 2014).
In West Africa, cashew is the second high
value export crop after Cocoa (Nitidae, 2019).
This has made the region an active player in
the global cashew market, with a share of
45% since 2015 (Monteiro et al., 2017). An
estimated 4.2 million metric tonnes of global
cashew production in 2012 showcase West
Africa’s dominance in both the current and
189
Production, consumption and export of cashew crop
emerging markets (Adeigbe et al., 2015).
Mindful of its value, cashew is considered as
a tool responsible for restoring hope to millions
of people in Africa given that it is a source of
income for many peasant farmers and a boost
to national income (Keller, 2010; Sanyang and
Kuyateh, 2018).
Despite the region’s cashew production
potential, literature reveals that cashew apple
and nuts account for only 50% of yield attained
from the tree species (Asogwa et al., 2009;
Mariwah et al., 2015). Surprisingly, less than
10% of cashew produced is being processed
in the region, implying the regions’ high
dependence on externally refined products.
Moreover, up to 90% of households growing
cashew in the region still live below the poverty
line, and thus experience periods of irregular
food supply (Adeigbe et al., 2015).
Although scholars have documented West
Africa’s contribution to the cashew sector in
the international market (Mole, 2000;
Mashood, 2012), a complete analysis of the
production, consumption, and export trends
within West Africa is still undocumented.
Hence, the objective of this study was to
analyse the trends in production, levels of
consumption and export of the West African
cashew sector, as a basis for informing
strategic development interventions.
METHODOLOGY
The study used cashew production,
consumption and export metadata for the West
African region (Fig. 1) from 2000 to 2017.
The region is the major cashew producing area
in Africa, with 45% share of the global cashew
market (Nitidae, 2019). Metadata were
extracted from the United Nations Food and
Agriculture Organisation (FAO) database, and
other relevant literature (FAOSTAT, 2020 and
Nitidae, 2019). These datasets were
triangulated with already published literature
(Monteiro et al, 2017, Adeigbe et al, 2015)
and other scientific reports (Kone, 2010; Keller,
2010) to validate the data quality. The data
were sorted and cleaned using Microsoft Excel
2013. Descriptive statistics (frequencies and
percentages) were performed and summarised
into different illustrations.
FINDINGS
Cashew production trends
During 2000 - 2017. Table 1 illustrates
progress made by eleven countries in cashew
production across West Africa. It is apparent
that increase in cultivated farmland for cashew
hardly resulted into significant elevation in yield
for all the countries. Although Cote D’Ivoire,
Benin and Guinea Bissau attained the largest
area harvested under cashew, average
performance in yield was generally lower
compared to Nigeria. Nevertheless, Cote
D’Ivoire and Nigeria were the top producers
of cashew in the region, with individual yields
exceeding 340,000 metric tonnes per annum.
Despite the fact that the cashew sectors of
Guinea Bissau and Benin were affected by pest
and disease incidences, and low support from
both public and private sectors, they remained
the top two countries with average production
above 100, 000 metric tonnes after Cote
D’Ivoire and Nigeria.
In terms of yearly performance for these
countries, Cote D’Ivoire and Nigeria
experienced sharp increases of 11.9 and
17.0%, respectively, over the first decade
(2000-2010) of the study period (Fig. 2). After
2010, the trend changed with Nigeria
producing less than Cote D’Ivoire (Fig. 2).
The marked rise in cashew production in Cote
D’Ivoire was attributed to significant progress
made due to increase in land allocated to cashew
cultivation, as well considerable increase in
investment from the private sector (World
Bank, 2018). From 2000 and 2010, Nigeria
also experienced an increase in production as
a result of improvement in seed varieties. The
difference in the progress between Cote
D’Ivoire and Nigeria after this decade can be
explained by the level of investment in breeding
N.P. KOLLIESUAH et al.
190
Figure 1. Map of the study region. Source: Nitidae (2019).
191
Production, consumption and export of cashew crop
TABLE 1. Top producers of Cashew producing countries in West Africa from 2000 - 2017
Country Area under Production (metric tonnes) Ranking
Cashew (ha) per annum
Nigeria 262576.4 458982.3 1
Cote D’Ivoire 853355.8 345093 2
Guinea Bissau 233148.8 114130.8 3
Benin 372754.1 106551.6 4
Burkina Faso 47853.9 43019.1 5
Mali 22683.9 38674.4 6
Ghana 65021.4 35051.6 7
Guinea 6125.3 6668.2 8
Senegal 18617.1 6326.1 9
Togo 2698.3 3916.1 10
The Gambia 1901.5 1773.5 11
Data source: Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) 2020 database
technology, which was considerably greater
in the former than the latter (Uwagboe et al.,
2010). Cote D’Ivoire experienced an increase
in investment in genetic improvement by 5%
exceeding Nigeria after 2010 (Calderon et al.,
2016). In Nigeria, pests and disease invasion,
as well as unimproved planting materials in the
second decade contributed to 52 -75% of
economic losses (Adeigbe et al., 2015). Net
production continued to decline in Nigeria,
accumulating to 11.6% of total production in
2017, compared to production in the last seven
years (Adeigbe et al., 2015). Nigeria, being
one of the countries on the production frontier,
and key in the cashew market, it is becoming
more of concern as economic growth and
productivity for the large segment of the rural
population is expected to decline, thus affecting
the country’s national revenue.
In Guinea Bissau and Benin, production
increased from 4 and 3.1% to 7.64 and 7%,
respectively, from 2007 to 2014. The trend in
the two countries was similar to that in Cote
D’Ivoire where there was a significant increase
in production due to an increase in acreage of
the crop with huge support from the
governments and many non-governmental
organisations (NGOs) (Monteiro et al., 2017).
However, the unexpectedly slower rate of
production in the two countries was premised
on the relatively higher cost of production,
especially in terms of labour for weeding and
harvesting. Until the opportunity for
investment in mechanisation are realised,
steady growth will remain challenged. These
indicators illustrate that few countries in the
West African region (Cote D’Ivoire, Nigeria,
Guinea Bissau and Benin) performed extremely
well to increase productivity of the tree species
Fig. 2).
Period post-2017. Projections of cashew
production five years after 2017 in West Africa
are presented in Figure 3. It is clear that Cote
D’Ivoire is expected to remain the lead
producer of cashew in West Africa in the next
five years. This will be followed sequentially
by Ghana, Guinea and Mali. Nigeria’s
production is expected to further decrease by
18.9%, as will be the case for Burkina Faso,
Togo and Senegal (though in reducing
magnitudes). The decline in Senegal will likely
be due to the nominal total area (<1%) under
cashew cultivation (Kahlmann and Kohn,
2018). The projected decrease in Nigeria will
be attributed to decline in genetic improvement
N.P. KOLLIESUAH et al.
192
Production (mt year-1)
Figure 2. Trends in the production of cashew across West Africa over the period of 2000 - 2017.
Source: Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) 2020 database.
Figure 3. Production of cashew in previous five years against production forecast in the next five
years after 2017, disaggregated by countries in West Africa as of 2018. Source: (Nitidae, 2019).
Selected Countries in West Africa
Production (Mt year-1)
193
Production, consumption and export of cashew crop
efforts as a result of limited investment in
genetic research and development (Mashood,
2012). This projection illustrates that, although
countries such as Ghana, Guinea and Mali are
actively investing in research to improve the
genotype of the species, Nigeria seems to be
lagging behind in this effort (Adeigbe et al.,
2015).
Cashew production in Burkina Faso and
Togo was expected to decrease owing to
inadequate knowledge and poor extension
services related to this crop in both countries
(Dendena and Corsi, 2014). Although peasant
farmers in the region did their best to increase
production over the study period, they were
stunned by pests and disease infestations
(Monteiro et al., 2017). This was attributed
to insufficient knowledge on the use of crop
protection strategies (Adjrah et al., 2013).
In The Gambia and Guinea Bissau, it was
projected that production would remain static
because most of the trees are yet to hit the
peak of production (Catarino et al., 2015). In
addition, research and extension efforts related
to improved planting materials were scanty in
these countries for one to be able to ascertain
the production level from an informed
perspective (Kahlmann and Kohn, 2018).
Moreover, the cashew value chain in The
Gambia, Guinea Bissau, and Senegal was
constrained by limited access to finance,
inappropriate application of best practices, and
the absence of established market information
systems (Paviot et al., 2019)
From all indications, it is clear that the trend
of cashew production in the last eighteen years
(2000-2017) in West Africa has been
fluctuating. Although Cote D’Ivoire, Guinea
Bissau and Benin experienced marked increases
in production of the crop, Nigeria, Togo,
Senegal, Mali and The Gambia remained in the
lower limits of production; with projections
of decline for Nigeria, Senegal, Togo and
Burkina Faso in the next five years. These
scenarios imply that concerted efforts are
needed in terms of research and development,
public-private investment, genetic
improvement and increase in extension
services to raise production in these countries.
Consumption of cashew
Period 2000-2017. Cashew consumption in
the West African region based on different
national scales is presented in Figure 4. Despite
decline in production trends for Nigeria, the
country remains the highest consumer of the
crop in the region, with an average of
428,809.1 tonnes per annum during the study
period. Even though Cote D’Ivoire was the
largest producer of cashew, the country
ranked fourth in terms of consumption of the
crop (Fig. 4). Mali and Benin were the second
and third consumers after Nigeria (Fig.4).
Trend analysis shows that cashew
consumption increased markedly across the
eleven active countries, from 2000 to 2010
(Fig. 5). Nigeria, Mali and Guinea Bissau were
the top three countries in this sequence. In
these three countries, production and
consumption of cashew were closely parallel
in the first decade preceding 2010. In addition,
during the same period, less than 10%
progress was recorded in efforts made
towards implementing value addition in the
region (Tola and Mazengia, 2019). As
production dropped steadily in these countries
in 2011 and beyond, a downward shift in
cashew consumption was observed across the
region, until it stabilised in 2014. The decrease
in consumption in these three countries in
2011, can be explained by the general
reduction in production and local processing.
Apart from the fact that most of the cashew
trees in Nigeria had outlived the supposed
productive age of 30 years, a study by Asogwa
et al., (2008) revealed that 60% of the plants
had reached this bench, but were still stressed
to yield fruits and nuts for commercial
purposes. On the other hand, the initial
increase in local consumption in Nigeria was
attributed to a drop in value on the international
market.. To avoid a decline in national growth,
national governments tend to prioritise local
N.P. KOLLIESUAH et al.
194
Figure 4. Top cashew consumer countries in West Africa during 2000 - 2017; Source: Food and
Agricultural Organisation (FAO) 2020 database.
Countries
Mean consumption (t year-1)
Figure 5. Trends in the use of cashew across West Africa over the period of 2000 - 2017. Source: Food
and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) 2020 database.
Utilisation (t year-1)
195
Production, consumption and export of cashew crop
processing industry to increase its national
processing capacity (Nitidae, 2019).
Cote D’Ivoire and Benin made very little
progress in local cashew consumption at less
than 200, 000 tonnes since 2000 (Fig.5). In
Cote D’Ivoire, cashew processing and value
addition were both still in their infancy. More
so, the country was constrained by insufficient
finance to construct modern processing
facilities. This impediment prompted Cote
D’Ivoire to embark on exportation of the raw
materials to India (71%) and Vietnam (28%)
(Koné, 2010). In 2017, the country reached a
capacity of 109,500 metric tonnes of raw
materials for the local processing industry
(Koné, 2010; Nitidae, 2019). SITA, the largest
processing company had less than 50%
capacity to process the cashew nuts.
In Benin, the cashew apple had long been
considered as waste in the processing
industries due to its soft and fragile nature
(Preethi et al., 2019). This was mostly hinged
on dismal investment in the processing
industries (Fig. 5). Also, there were less than
eleven processing industries in the country,
with less than 1000 metric tonnes capacity to
process the commodity (Nitidae, 2019). On
the other hand, the country still struggled to
raise production above 240,000 metric tonnes
per year (Fig. 2). This indicates that raw
materials for the processing industries were
bottlenecks. Amidst these scenarios, it is
evident that very little efforts had been made
to explore the cashew value chain in Cote
D’Ivore and Benin.
The sharp reduction in consumption of
cashew in Mali and Guinea Bissau as of 2011
is attributed to constraints in production such
as unimproved planting materials and poor
agronomic practices as noted by Oluyole and
Abbas (2016). This resulted from damage
caused by different insect species during the
stages of production, which made the quality
unsuitable for processing. Furthermore, the
stability in the consumption trend was hinged
on marketing constraints as a result of lower
output and poor quality products.
Rate of consumption
The rate of cashew consumption is a function
of the quantity of the cashew consumed
domestically (Fig. 5) and the total population
at a defined period (Kearney, 2010). It
provides an elaborate understanding of the
proportion of the commodity being consumed
nationally. The rate of consumption of cashew
was tabulated using the formula shown below
with results presented in Figure 6:
Rc = Quantity of Cashew consumed locally
x 100%
Total population as of 2018
................................…………… Equation 1
Where:
Rc = Rate of consumption
Across the entire region, rate of consumption
of the cashew was less than 10% (Fig.6). In
terms of trend analysis over the years, it was
clear that even countries at the highest extreme
of production and processing, equally utilised
smaller proportions of the commodity (Fig.
6). On the other hand, those at the lower limit
of production like Guinea Bissau and Benin did
better. Despite the low rate of consumption
across the entire region, Guinea Bissau utilised
3.62 and 2.34% of the total commodity
produced domestically in 2010 and 2017,
respectively; making it the highest consumer
in the region for the period under study.
Although the study indicated that in 2010,
Nigeria was leading in production and
processing, its rate of consumption lagged
behind Guinea Bissau by 0.40% when
compared to the rest of the countries. Benin
also attained its peak of consumption in 2012
and 2015, with 0.62 and 0.82%, respectively.
Conversely, as production started to
increase steadily across countries from 2002
to 2017, the rate of consumption declined
considerably (Fig. 6). To a great extent, this
shows that cashew was being underutilised in
N.P. KOLLIESUAH et al.
196
Rate of consumption (%)
Figure 6. Rate of consumption of the cashew across West Africa over the period of 2000 – 2017. FAO
database (2019) and Nitidae (2019).
the region. This can be explained by the limited
capacity in value addition across these
countries, as less than 10% of cashew nuts
underwent value addition domestically in the
region (Tola and Mazengia, 2019). Only a few
countries in the region (Mali, Guinea Bissau,
Nigeria and Benin) attached value to the species
(Nitidae, 2019). Guinea Bissau also used the
commodity in its fresh form in feeding
livestock; and the raw material to produce
juices, jams, vinegar, candy, salad and syrup
(Brufau et al.,, 2006; Vivek et al., 2013;
Nwosu et al., 2016). Although this trend kept
shifting, there was evidence that countries at
the higher end of production mostly prioritised
export of the cashew in an unrefined form
(80%), compared to countries with a small
proportion of the commodity produced (Keller,
2010). It can, therefore, be reasoned that the
commodity was underutilised in the West
African region, with dismal attention given to
the processing industry. Despite its monetary
contributions from the international market, the
region still greatly misses out on value-added
income from domestic trades and its nutritional
benefits.
Cashew export projections
Based on the statistics in Figure 7, Cote
D’Ivore was the largest exporter of cashew
in the region with an average of 312, 200.7
tonnes; followed by Guinea Bissau, Benin and
Ghana. The increase in export potential was
as a result of increase in production due to
expansion in area cultivation and private
investment in the sector (Keller, 2010).
Figure 8 presents trend analysis for the
quantity of cashew exported by selected West
African countries. Cote D’Ivore was the
largest producer in the region, and also
maintained the largest share of the export
market since 2011. Similarly, Nigeria
experienced a peak of 118,977 metric tonnes
of export in 2012; the highest volume of
cashew trade in Nigerian history. Thereafter,
Nigeria’s cashew export started to slump in
2013 through 2017. This can be attributed to
the numerous losses due to diseases and insect
pests during production and distribution, as
already explained earlier.
It is worth putting on record that countries
such as The Gambia, Togo, and Mali have no
197
Production, consumption and export of cashew crop
Countries
Export (t year- -1)
Figure 7. Mean quantity of cashew (tonnes) exported per annum across representative West African
countries (2000-2017). Source: Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) 2020 database.
Figure 8. Trend of the Quantity of Cashew exported from West Africa from 2000 – 2017 Source:
FAOSTAT (2019).
Export value (t year- -1)
N.P. KOLLIESUAH et al.
198
Figure 9. Average Shares of exports in tonnes gained by top cashew processing countries globally
(FAOSTAT, 2019) and Nitidae (2019).
Countries
Export of raw cashew nuts (metric tonnes)
UAE Saudi Arabia India Vietnam China Indonesia Brazil
export history between 2000 and 2007,
perhaps due to reduced production.
Advancement in research and development
was made to enhance the production of cashew
in these countries; thus exports increased
between 2008 and in 2017 (Fig. 8). Although
projection for the cashew market shows that
production is expected to decline in Nigeria,
Senegal, Togo, Guinea, and Burkina Faso (Fig.
3), it presents fascinating facts that these
countries will increasingly find it demanding
to trade with Vietnam and India due to a
reduction in the demand for their goods and
facilitating prices (Kilama, 2009).
In terms of share in the West African
cashew export market, Vietnam accounted for
929,500 metric tonnes in 2018, while India
which ranked second was responsible for
711,000 metric tonnes (Fig. 9). All active
cashew countries in West Africa exported more
than 80% of the commodity to these countries;
with less than 10% being processed locally
(Tola and Mazengia, 2019). This limitation in
value addition will lead to a reduction in the
profit margin by approximately 60 percent of
value-added income in the next five years
(Kahlmann and Kohn, 2018). This, therefore,
suggests that countries whose national incomes
and growth are reliant on this as a cash crop
will experience shrinkage in national income
(Fynn, 2004), given that cashew contributes
to 25.6, 7.1, 6.1 and 3% of the GDP in Cote
D’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Ghana and Benin,
respectively (Keller, 2010; Koné, 2010).
As a result of this decline, it is expected
that the reduction in growth will severely affect
rural farmers thereby dragging many into
hunger and poverty. This will consequently
undermine progress toward achieving the
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs) of zero hunger and no poverty in these
countries. India and Vietnam will also be
impacted by the decline in production since
these two receive the largest share of the
commodity from West Africa.
It is important to also note that in the next
four years, the demand for cashew on the
international market will grow to over three
million metric tonnes, ceteris paribus
(Monteiro, 2017). This presents an interesting
picture for West Africa to utilise the market in
maximising profits, at the detriment of the
199
Production, consumption and export of cashew crop
reduction in cashew produced in India and
Vietnam in the next five years. However, this
is only feasible if advances are made in
research and extension as well as investment
in processing across the region. West Africa
needs to grow an average of 8 to 16% per
annum to meet this demand (Mariwah et al.,
2015).
CONCLUSION
Cashew production has been on the increase
in West Africa with eleven countries being
active in production. Cote D’Ivoire and Nigeria
are the dominant producers of cashew in the
region; followed by Benin and Guinea Bissau
in the last two decades (2000 to 2017).
However, the average production of cashew
is expected to decline in the next five years in
countries such as Nigeria, Togo, Senegal, and
Burkina Faso as opposed to The Gambia and
Guinea Bissau where production is expected
to remain nearly stable. The decline in
production in these countries will be mainly
due to rudimentary farming practices, limited
investment in genetic modification, inadequate
public-private investment in the value chain,
and limited extension services. In quantitative
terms, less than 10% of the cashew produced
in the region underwent processing, especially
value addition due to limited investment in the
processing industry. Mali, Guinea Bissau,
Nigeria, Cote D’Ivoire, and Benin are the five
countries at the forefront of local consumption
with Cote D’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Ghana, and
Benin owning the largest share of the export
market.
Based on the analysis and considering the
importance of cashew in livelihood
enhancement of smallholder farmers, the
growth and development of large trade based
institutions and countries, it is essential to
invest in the production and processing of
cashew. Increase in production and
productivity requires both technical and
financial support focused on farmers’ capacity
building on improved agronomic practices,
harvest and post-harvest practices as well as
research and extension services in the areas
of genetic improvement and pest management.
For processing and value addition, it entails
technical and business skills, access to finance
and investment in cashew processing
industries. Besides, public-private partnerships
will be essential in providing the needed
resources to smallholder farmers for cashew
production, processing, and marketing. With
the above recommendations in place, West
Africa will contribute greatly in meeting the
expected over 3 million tonnes of cashew
demand in the next four years on the
international market.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The authors are grateful to the MasterCard
Foundation and Regional Universities Forum
for Capacity Building in Agriculture
(RUFORUM) for funding research and
publication cost through the Transforming
African Agricultural Universities to
meaningfully contribute to Africa’s growth and
development (TAGDev) Program.
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... Sadly, studies have reported that only about 10% of the cashew apples are utilized as fruits for domestic consumption in Africa, and a greater percentage goes to waste on farmers' fields causing environmental nuisance due to limited knowledge, lack of processing and harvesting equipment, and high perishability, among others [7,8]. Kolliesuah et al. [9] also revealed that cashew apple utilization by farmers and dwellers of cashew-growing communities in West African countries like Nigeria, Mali, Guinea-Bissau, and Benin is less than 10% due to the lack of technical know-how, high priority for export, limited processing, high astringency, and perishability of the apples, though production in these areas is very high. The study also acknowledged that Ghana is among the countries at the forefront of cashew production, but there is little utilization of the apples by its populace. ...
... Farmers form the highest (89.1%) proportion of stakeholders in the cashew industry, followed by nut buyers (6.8%), extension officers (3.5%), and cashew apple processors (0.6%). The cashew industry in Africa has been reported to mainly consist of farmers (90%) due to limited processing and other value chain activities [3,[9][10][11]. This is therefore not surprising that there is improvement in Ghana's share of Raw Cashew Nuts (RCN) on the global market due to high productivity from farmers, but performing poorly when it comes to cashew apple processing owning to limited processors [9]. ...
... The cashew industry in Africa has been reported to mainly consist of farmers (90%) due to limited processing and other value chain activities [3,[9][10][11]. This is therefore not surprising that there is improvement in Ghana's share of Raw Cashew Nuts (RCN) on the global market due to high productivity from farmers, but performing poorly when it comes to cashew apple processing owning to limited processors [9]. Generally, there is a deficiency of extension officers in Ghana [12], hence the resulting outcome of having few extension officers in the cashew growing regions. ...
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