The ACA Seal program is made possible with the support of USAID. In April 2013, USAID awarded the African Cashew Alliance (ACA) with a $1.2 million Global Development Alliance (GDA) grant. The funds will support a two-year program entitled “Leveraging Cashew Business for Poverty Reduction.” Within the two-year time span of the project, ACA’s work is expected to result in additional income of $10M for rural communities and create 3,200 new jobs in the cashew industry.
USAID’s GDA model is a market-based approach for partnerships between the public and private sectors to jointly address business and development objectives. Activities under the grant will leverage the expertise and financial support of several partner organizations, including Kraft Foods, Intersnack, Olam, and Red River Foods. These companies, all members of ACA’s Advisory Board, are some of the industry’s biggest players dedicated to the development of the African cashew industry.
Improving rural livelihoods by increasing the competitiveness of cashew processing in West Africa is the primary goal of the program. ACA’s approach to achieving these results centers on technical assistance for emerging cashew processors as well as development of the ACA Quality and Sustainability Seal program. More than 450,000 farmers and their dependents will be linked to the international market via cashew processing.
Receiving this award is a huge achievement for ACA, and will enable expansion of the Seal program, growth in volumes of raw cashew processed in the region, and improved market access for African stakeholders. The targeted growth of the cashew processing industry in West Africa will facilitate at least $150 million in sales, improving income for rural communities and creating jobs while building a sustainable cashew sector.