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Thứ Ba, 30 tháng 6, 2015

Mozambique: Mogovolas cashew producers to get Norwegian bonus


Cashew nut producers in Mogovolas district, Nampula province, get a cash bonus whenever processing company Condor Nats exports their produce to Norway.

According to ‘Notícias’, for every 16 tons of raw cashew nuts leaving for Norway (at a price of about five million meticais/US$143,000 per container), producers receive a bonus of about 200,000 meticais (around US$5,700).

Under European Union ‘Fairtrade’ rules, producers get a pay-back of US$0.4 per kilogram of cashew nut if they avoid industrial fertilizers in production and observe fair labour practices. The processing of the nuts is guaranteed by Condor Nats, a private capital entity with a purchasing unit in Mogovolas.

The national director of the Mozambique Cashew Promotion Institute (INCAJU), Filomena Maiopuè, explains that Norway currently imports about 16 tons of raw cashew nuts from Mogovolas per month, and has said it will double the volume of its imports because of their excellent quality.

Asked how local producers were handling the rewards flowing from their cashew nuts’ high quality, Mogovolas district administrator Alberto Namahala said that he and members of his executive were looking into the matter.

The Mogovolas district is Mozambique’s biggest cashew producer and exports to the United States, Netherlands, South Africa and other countries as well as Europe.

Source: Notícias

Thứ Sáu, 26 tháng 6, 2015

Kenya: Kilifi asks state to buy back county’s cashew nut factory

June 26, 2015

Mwalimu Mwinyi Sumuni dries his Cashew nuts at Ngo?mbeni area kwale County Oct 30 2011.Kilifi women initiate are on a campaign to raise Sh54 million for the revival of the collapsed Cashew nut industry in the country that will create job opportunities among the Coast residents .Photo\Elkana Jacob

Mwalimu Mwinyi Sumuni dries his Cashew nuts at Ngo?mbeni area kwale County Oct 30 2011.Kilifi women initiate are on a campaign to raise Sh54 million for the revival of the collapsed Cashew nut industry in the country that will create job opportunities among the Coast residents .Photo\Elkana Jacob

THE Kilifi government yesterday urged the state to buy and revive the county’s cashew nut factory that was auctioned in the 1990s.

Kilifi county secretary Owen Baya said the factory can only be returned to farmers if the national government orders a compulsory acquisition.

Speaking in his office, Baya said the state played a role in the sale of the factory.

He said the county has been engaging the national government through the Coast Development Authority seeking its acquisition of the factory.

Efforts have been unsuccessful, Baya said.

“The factory was bought by a private investor and the county has tried to talk to them but they are not willing to sell it,” he said.

Baya said the state in its budget set aside funds to revive industries in several parts of the country, but overlooked the Coast.

He said Self Help Africa, an NGO, has started a cashew nut revival project in Kilifi.

The organisation will provide early maturing seedlings to distribute to farmers and also prune the old orchards, Baya said.


Thứ Năm, 25 tháng 6, 2015

India: Rise in processing costs hits cashew exports

Wed June 24, 2015

Cashew exports continued to decline in May 2015 compared with the same period last fiscal. Nearly 70 per cent of the factories in the organised sector have their shutters down from April 1, following substantial increase in the wages of workers by the state government, industry sources in Kollam said. The Kerala Government had hiked the wages of workers by 35 per cent from March 1.

“This, coupled with reduction in incentives for export of cashew in the new foreign trade policy and prevailing high raw nut prices, are the main reasons for the decline in exports”, K Sasi Varma, Executive Director and Secretary, Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI), told BusinessLine.

During May 2015, India exported 7,407 tons of cashew valued at `354 crore at an average unit value of`498.11 a kg as against 8,928 tons valued at `391.35 crore at unit value of `438.34 a kg in the same month in 2014, he said.
Total exports during Apr-May 2015 stood at 13,194 tons valued at `641.95 crore at the average unit value of`486.55 a kg. In the same period last fiscal it was 16,316 tons valued at `710.89 crore at unit value of `435.70 a kg. However, shipments of salted and roasted kernels and Cashew Nut Shell Liquid (CNSL)/Cardanol have shown an up trend during the first two months.

A total 117 tons of roasted and salted kernels were shipped out as against 101 tons in the same period last year. Exports of CSNL/Cardanol have shown a substantial increase from 1,022 tons to 1,471 tons in April-May 2015.
Trade sources said that the demand growth in Indian domestic market is 15 per cent per annum and the prices have been above the international market prices.

As a result, many of the processor-exporters were marketing a good portion in the domestic market at a premium, they said. A good percentage of the domestic demand of over two lakh tons of kernels is met by supplies from the unorganised sector, they said. Imports of raw cashew nuts (RCN) have also dropped in Apr-May this year to 1,54,962 tons valued at `1,232.94 crore at a unit value of `79.56 a kg.

Raw nut imports fall

As against this, imports in the corresponding period last year were at 1,65,364 tons valued at 1,118.10 crore at the unit value of `67.61 a kg. Industry sources said shutting down of the factories and the high RCN are the reasons for the fall in its imports. He said the indigenous production of raw nuts continued to remain far below the demand of the processing industry. The prices of raw nuts in the local markets were hovering at around `100 a kg.

RCN prices firm up

According to Pankaj N Sampat, a Mumbai-based dealer, reported lower kernel yields, and delays in shipments appears to have forced shellers to pay higher prices to secure supplies of early arrivals. Consequently, unlike in the past RCN prices have been going up this year in the peak harvesting period of the Northern crops, which contribute 75 per cent of the world output, he added.


Thứ Tư, 24 tháng 6, 2015

India: Festive Boom Returns in Wholes

Tue June 23, 2015

Splits and pieces steady but demand is increasing in the W320 and W240 category wholes. Current price of W320 is Rs6700/Tin/Premium Grade/11.340 kg/Goa-Mangalore. There is no shortage of raw cashew but increase in the cost of import and rising Ramadan consumption are the factors influencing market behavior.


Cote d'Ivoire: Cashing in on the cashew nuts boom

June 23, 2015.

Local processing could boost revenue in Côte d’Ivoire

The annual “money-harvesting” season is in full swing in Côte d’Ivoire. For the fortunate cashew nut farmers in the central and northern parts of the country, February through June is harvest time. Here cashew nut growing has improved the lives of these small-scale farmers significantly. They get more money from it than they would make from growing food crops or cotton. The impact has transformed their lives and they now refer to their orchards as places where “money grows on trees.”

“These farmers don’t grow cocoa like elsewhere in the country. Cashew nut is the only cash crop they can rely on all-year-round,” says Ga Kone of the Conseil du Coton et de l’Anacarde (CCA) or the Council of Cotton and Cashew. “So, it is understandable that they would refer to their orchards in this way,” Mr. Kone told Africa Renewal.Côte d’Ivoire produced 550,000 tonnes of raw cashew nuts in 2014—about 22% of the global production. The figure is expected to hit a record 600,000 tonnes at the end of the 2015 harvesting season, placing the country as one of the world’s top producers. The West African nation’s annual production has been steadily growing at an average rate of 11%, according to CCA, the sector’s marketing board made up of representatives from the government, farmers and banking associations.CCA is also responsible for making sure farmers are paid decent prices for their crops. For example, for every $10 of raw cashew nuts Côte d’Ivoire exports, $6 is expected to be paid back to the farmers.

To the Ivoirian economy, the cashew boom presents an unexpected but welcome opportunity to diversify agricultural exports beyond cocoa beans and rubber. It will also help develop the country’s agro-industry. However, to realise its full potential, Côte d’Ivoire has to process and add value to its raw cashews. While the country has the capacity to process 65,000 tonnes of raw nut annually, it currently processes 40,000 tonnes, according to CCA. Even then, the processing is usually limited at separating broken nuts from whole nuts and packaging them in sacks for exports. Broken nuts receive lower prices.

Fighting desertification

Cashew trees were first introduced in West Africa from India in the early 1960s to fight desertification and soil erosion through agroforestry and to establish protected forest areas. The evergreen tropical tree can survive in difficult conditions, including sandy soil, and can grow up to 12 metres high and is highly recommended by environmentalists for reforestation programmes.For the decade ending in 1970, Côte d’Ivoire produced a total of about 300 tonnes of cashew nuts. Its commercial production remained modest for the next 30 years. A milestone was reached in 2002 when production topped 100,000 tonnes. Except for a small dip in 2003, commercial production has been growing steadily since then.Côte d’Ivoire’s cashew nut boom is remarkable. “The growth is more than impressive. It’s astounding,” Jim Fitzpatrick, a cashew expert told Reuters late last year. “We’ve never seen a country grow its production in the way Côte d’Ivoire has over the past decade.”

The ease with which the trees grow, the reduction in cotton farming – the traditional cash crop of the region – and the growing global demand for processed cashew nuts are some of the reasons behind the country’s impressive performance. India and Vietnam’s rising needs for raw cashew nuts have also fuelled the growth of cashew farming in Côte d’Ivoire. As the top world exporter of processed cashew, India imports 50% to 60% of raw cashew for processing from Africa and Asia.African countries produce about 45% or 1.2 million tonnes of global cashew nuts annually. However, only 10% of this is processed locally, according to the African Cashew Initiative, a project backed by the German government, private companies, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Members of the initiative include five African producers: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Mozambique.

For all the remarkable cashew nut growth, however, the overall benefits to the cashew growing areas are limited. Only a small number of small-scale farmers are reaping the benefits. In 2014, for example, the Ivorian cashew production relied on 250,000 farmers while its revenues were shared by an estimated 1.5 million. In the Zanzan District in north-eastern Côte d’Ivoire, one of the country’s cashew-growing regions, poverty levels remain among the highest nationwide. Six out of every 10 people live below the poverty line—meaning they cannot afford a daily supply of one kilogramme of rice, the local staple food—and three-quarters of the population have no access to clean water.

Towards industrialisation

Côte d’Ivoire stands to gain up to $127 million in export revenue if it moves from exporting raw cashews, about 500,000 tons currently, to boosting its annual processing capacity to 100,000 tons of cashews by 2020, a study commissioned by the government shows. The windfall could even be greater and spur a real cashew industry capable of competing with India and other cashew nut producers such as Vietnam on international markets.

For a start, beyond guaranteeing a minimum purchase price for farmers, the challenge for Côte d’Ivoire is to invest more in processing plants. Its main processing plant, and the largest in Africa, can handle only 30,000 tonnes of raw cashews per year. Another plant, opened last year with initial processing capacity of 2,000 tonnes, is expected to reach its full capacity of 20,000 tonnes a year soon.As the cashew sector comes of age, the timing could not have been better for Côte d’Ivoire. Investors reportedly worried by Indian and Vietnamese market dominance might choose to diversify supply and start investing in African cashew production.

If successful, Côte d’Ivoire could be a good example of how locally-generated added value can generate extra government revenue while also creating jobs. According to a study carried out by the CCA, every 100,000 tonnes of processing capacity Cote d’Ivoire develops will create 12,300 factory jobs and another 10,000 elsewhere in the sector.The global cashew market was valued at up to $7.8 billion last year and is projected to grow by 15% this year. Growing demand from China is expected to sustain the vitality of the market. Then money could just continue to “grow on trees” benefiting more Ivoirians.

By: SEM Contributor 
Source: By Franck Kuwonu, Courtesy of Africa Renewal

Thứ Hai, 22 tháng 6, 2015

India: Panel Suggests Top Level Reshuffle to Revive Cashew Devpt Corporation


KOCHI: The expert committee constituted to study the issues in the Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation (KSCDC) and the Kerala State Cashew Workers Apex industrial Cooperation Society Ltd has recommended that for reviving the Corporation, it was necessary to remove its managing director and reconstruct the Board.
The State submitted a report in this regard before the Kerala High Court on Monday, on a petition seeking CBI probe into the alleged corruption in the Corporation. The court will consider the case on Tuesday.
The committee headed by Department of Industries and IT Principal Secretary P H Kurian pointed out that though the government had provided up to 25 per cent of the turnover as financial support, the Corporation could neither improve its performance, nor could it reduce the loss.
“Both the KSCDC and CAPEX have been making huge losses continuously. There is need to re-look into the working model, urgently. The cashew sector is being politically construed as a labour welfare measure, and not as a commercial entity.
Such a thinking was probably apt in the 1970s, 80s and 90s, when the number of workers in the sector was very high.
The number of workers in the public sector undertaking has come down to around 16,000 from  50,000 in the 1980s. The new-generation workforce is not attracted to the sector, while private companies are mechanising heavily and engaging migrant workers,” stated the report.
It also pointed out that the long-term prospects of the KSCDC and CAPEX were extremely grim. “The KSCDC has not followed the store purchase procedure for purchase of raw cashew nuts, and instead followed its own procedure.
No specific tender register is maintained. It is observed that bids were invited for raw cashew nuts of different origin and different outturn in the same tender, which is not an ideal practice for a public sector undertaking. Though JMJ Traders was not the lowest bidder, they became the lowest bidder after negotiations.
In almost all purchases, JMJ Traders was given extension of two-four months from the contracted last date of supply. It will be a Herculean task to transform the KSCDC and CAPEX into commercially profitable ventures. During their existence, they never made any profit,” the report stated.
The Committee also made it clear that products should be exported directly so as to avail export benefits. While making  local sales, no advances should be collected from the prospective buyers. Since the domestic demand of high-quality kernels is growing fast,and the brand value of the organisations are very high, they should concentrate more on the domestic market in the next three years for achieving at least 25 per cent added sales. The marketing division needs to be set up with professional managers.
“The committee also opined that no new recruitments should be permitted in both the organisations. Budgetary support from the government, earmarked for mechanisation and rejuvenation, was diverted and used for working capital purposes, with or without the government’s permission. There were instances wherein the contracted quantity was not fully delivered before entering into the next contract,” report pointed out.

India: Call for revamp of cashew corporation

KOCHI, June 23, 2015

Expert committee recommends removal of MD

The Board of the Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation and Kerala State Cashew Workers Apex Industrial Co-operation Society Ltd shall be reconstituted and its Managing Director be removed from the post, recommended an expert committee formed as suggested by the High Court of Kerala.

The recommendations were made by a committee headed by P.H. Kurian, Principal Secretary, Department of Industries and Department of Information Technology.
The removal of the Managing Director and the reconstruction of the Board were needed for the revival of the Corporation. The long-term prospects of both the Corporation and the Society looked extremely grim. Both the agencies continue to incur substantial losses even though the government gave financial support to the extent of 50 to 60 per cent of the employee costs, it said.

The panel pointed out that there was no planned procurement of raw cashew nuts and sale of products. The ad hoc way of purchase and sale had adverse impact on the financials of the organisation. There is no system of internal control, concurrent audit, cost estimation and accounting manual in the organisations, it said.

The committee also suggested that a proper concurrent audit team be appointed to monitor the purchase and sales procedures, fixations of selling prices, maintenance of proper records and to oversee that accounts are timely audited. As both the agencies have been making huge loss continually, there is the need to relook at their working model immediately. The cashew corporation is being politically construed as a labour welfare measure and not as a commercial entity. Such a thinking was probably apt in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s as the number of workers involved was very high.


India: Panel for overhaul of Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation

June 23, 2015

Photo: Processing cashew in India (internet)

Kochi: The expert committee headed by principal secretary P.H. Kurian, formed to look into the anomalies in the Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation and the Kerala State Cashew Workers Apex Industrial Co-operative Society Ltd,  submitted before Kerala High Court that the reconstitution  of the board and the removal of the managing director were  needed for the revival of the corporation.
Stressing the need to relook the working model of the KSCDC and CAPEX,  the  committee concluded that their long-term prospects were extremely grim.
The committee  suggested formation of   proper audit  and  professional marketing teams, employing staff with multi-tasking capabilities, reduction of work days and  export of maximum goods. Mr R. Chandrasekharan is the current chairman while Mr K. A. Retheesh is the MD.
The committee comprised  Sasi Varma, secretary and executive director,  Cashew Export Promotion Council of India, J.J. Ranjith,  deputy general manager finance and chief financial officer, Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation,  and K.S. Rajagopal, joint secretary, department of industries.
A proper concurrent audit team should be appointed to monitor the purchase and sales procedures, fixation of selling prices, maintenance of proper records and to ensure that accounts are properly recorded and timely audited, it said.
While dealing with the purchase of raw cashew nuts,  the terms of contract with regard to payment and delivery should  be ruthlessly followed and the purchase should  be  well-planned.
The committee also made it clear that products should be exported directly so as to avail of export benefits or should be sold locally,   but no advances should  be taken from the prospective buyers.
As domestic demand of high quality kernels is growing  and the brand value of these organisations are very high, they should increasingly concentrate on the domestic market to achieve at least 25 percent added sales in the next three years. Marketing division needs to be set up with professional managers.

The committee also opined that no new recruitment should be permitted in both the organisations. Both KSCDC and CAPEX should attempt work force rationalisation and multi-tasking without which they cannot survive, it said.


India: Cashew prices rise 33% this season

Sun June 21, 2015

Cashew nuts and kernel prices have increased 33-35 per cent during the current season in the Palasa market due to shortage of nuts and also led by higher demand owing to Ramzan. Last year , local nuts were available at ` 80 per kg when the season started but this year, they are priced at ` 105-110. Accordingly, kernel prices have also increased to ` 600 per kg for high-grade and ` 250 per kg for low-grade as against `450-460 and ` 175 respectively last year, said Malla Srinivasa Rao, president, Palasa Cashew Manufacturers Association, and chairman, Agricultural Market Committee-Palasa.

Hudhud cyclone and a few other reasons were responsible for lower production this time. Moreover, imported nuts prices too are not attractive. Hence, domestic prices have increased abnormally, he added.
Due to low availability of domestic nuts, cashew units, which have a processing capacity of about 500 tons a day, are buying them even at higher prices, he stated. Though imported nuts are available in sufficient quantities, the kernel productivity is 10-15 per cent lower compared with domestic nuts. Besides, imported nuts prices have increased 25 per cent over last year's.

According to him, about 10,000 workers depend on this industry in the Palasa area. Unit operators have agreed to enhance the wages at 15 per cent for men workers and 19 per cent for women workers, for the next two years. This will result in an additional burden of ` 5-6 lakh a day on the unit owners, Rao stated.


Thứ Năm, 18 tháng 6, 2015

Guinea-Bissau is world’s largest “per capita” cashew producer

June 17th, 2015 

Guinea-Bissau has become the world’s largest producer of cashew nuts “per capita” as a result of an annual production of over 200,000 tons, the economist and consultant to the Guinean government, Eduardo Fernandes said MondayThe economist was speaking at a seminar on business opportunities in Guinea-Bissau, held in the Portuguese town of Sintra, organised by the Association of Solidarity and Support for the Guinean Comunity in Portugal.Fernandes warned, however, that cashew nuts cannot be the only product to sustain the economy of Guinea-Bissau, “because it makes the country vulnerable to sudden market fluctuations” and therefore invited Portuguese businessmen to invest in his country .Fernandes explained in detail the economic plan that the Guinea-Bissau government presented at the Brussels roundtable for the next decade and identified four areas of priority investment – agriculture/agri-industry, fisheries, tourism and mining.Speaking about the agricultural sector the consultant said that Guinea-Bissau needed to start introducing value in the chain of production of cashew nuts, including through both primary and secondary processing, rather than exporting cashew nuts in their raw state to India.

With regard to fisheries, Fernandes said the Guinea-Bissau government wanted to set up a fishing fleet, either nationally and in partnership, to replace the current system which is limited to the sale of fishing licenses to foreign shipowners.The Guinean embassy attaché in Portugal, Mbala Fernandes stressed the “political stability” that Guinea-Bissau had achieved, the “confidence of international creditors” as shown at the donor meeting last March, which provided aid of 1.3 billion euros and “close relations between Portuguese and Guineans.”


Nigeria Planting season: Few farmers to benefit from farm input in 2015

June 17, 2015

As this year’s raining season commences, few farmers in the country registered under the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES), will benefit from the Federal Government’s fertilizer allocation this cropping season.The Director of farm inputs, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Bolawa Osho, who confirmed this to National Mirror, explained that this was due to the priority issues based on the handing over notes.He said the ministry is doing a letter to President Mohammadu Buhari, on its past achievements of the 2013, 2014 raining season farming and they are waiting for the final approval and directive to start this year’s distribution.He said they are doing what is realistic to accommodate farmers from the Middle belt and those farmers from the North.But farmers, especially in the South West part of Nigeria, rather took advantage of the situation to start planting before the usual month of May planting season.Professor of Soil Physics, Department of Soil Science and Land Management, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Felix Kolawole Salako, has explained that the rains starting in March is normal because it is actually the onset of rainy season in Southern Nigeria.

He emphasised that it is only in the far North that it would be unexpected if it had started this April, while affirming that in the olden days the climate was more stable.“Rains become steady in the far North by June; so planting may start in May, June or July depending on where you are in the North,” he added.Salako, who is also Deputy Vice Chancellor (Development) of FUNAAB, stated that in Southern Nigeria, planting season starts with land preparation mostly in March and farmers do watch for steady rains before planting during this period.“With more than five rains in the last three weeks, the planting season has commenced and some farmers have really started planting. This does not mean that we do not have the risk of long dry period between rain events that can be detrimental to crops. We can only ascertain or predict this with painstaking analysis. I believe NIMET (Nigerian Meteorological Agency) is doing its best, but climate change can make the best of predictions go awry.”

Surprisingly, some traders are already roasting corn in some parts of Lagos when the rains have not actually started. Likewise, since the maize is not fully in season, they are very expensive and scare.While reacting to this, Salako said the only crop that could be planted during the dry season is yam, but the early corns seen dotting the city of Lagos and other southern parts of the country were planted along riverbanks and wetlands.His words: “Planting in the dry season entails irrigation. Most farmers plant on wetlands or Fadamas, along riverbanks. They pump water to wet crops. Yam could be planted under rain-fed agriculture, and rain-fed agriculture implies dependence on rain. So it is practised in the wet or rainy season. And any crop can be planted as long as it is adapted to the agro-ecology being considered. Every agroecological zone has its own advantage for a given crop.”

Chairman of farmers’ association for Lagos Chambers of Commerce Industry (LCCI), Prince Olawale Oyekoya, also stated that the frequent rains do not imply that it is the season of rains or planting, but the unsteadiness of the climate has greatly affected farmers’ predictions and also caused some disasters such as flooding in some farmlands in the state.“Actually, we are in the early season of planting, and I have farmers whose farmlands are already flooded. This is as a result of the blocked drainages all around Lagos. Though we are in early season of planting, is the government prepared to tackle the issue of flooding?”But the early rains seem to be a sort ill-wind that blows some farmers no good. A cashew nut merchant in Kogi State, Mohammed Demo, said once the rains start earlier than expected, it affects the quality of the cashew nut negatively.“The rainfall that started early this year affected the quality of cashew nut because we were still supposed to be harvesting. Once the rain is falling, especially the early rainfall, the quality drops,” he said.

Thứ Ba, 16 tháng 6, 2015

Mozambique plans to produce 100,000 tons of cashew nuts

June 15th, 2015

Mozambique’s cashew nut production target for the current 2015/2016 season is about 100,000 tons, exceeding the amount recorded by 20,000 tons in the previous campaign, said the deputy director of the National Cashew Institute (Incaju).Carlos Mucavel recently said that to achieve that target Incaju would spray more than 4 million cashew trees and promote simultaneous actions to improve the crop by distributing over 3.3 million seedlings across the country.Mucavel, who was speaking in Chibuto, at the institute’s national planning meeting, recalled that the cashew fruit and nut was the basis of the livelihood and income generation for about 1.4 million households across the country .The production of cashew nuts in Mozambique occurs mainly in the north, with a contribution of approximately 57 percent, followed by the central region, with 24 percent, and finally, the south, with 19 percent of the total.The deputy director of Incaju stressed the need to increase the tonnage of primary processing of cashew nuts, increasing the number of factories (currently 23) as well as secondary processing, “and it is therefore necessary to raise investment for construction of industrial units.”“Our focus will be increased production, primary processing and secondary processing, as well as on quality and quantity, guaranteeing income for households working with the cashew crop,” said the National Deputy Director, cited by daily newspaper Notícias.

Source: macauhub/MZ

Ghana: Fair prices, higher quality and extra jobs

June 11, 2015

Cashew farmers in Ghana are getting stronger

The African Cashew initiative (ACi) has improved product quality and optimized the supply chains. Rural development played an important role at the European Development Days.Small farmers in Africa produce around 40 percent of the entire cashew crop. But the low quality of the cashew nuts, low productivity and lack of organization cause cashew farmers to have a weak bargaining position and a low income. And in addition, less than ten percent of the cashews are further processed in Africa. A large part of the profit made with cashews therefore passes Africa by.In order to improve the situation of farmers and producers, the African Cashew initiative (ACi) was established. The program is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In five countries the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) consults and trains cashew producers, helping them to meet international quality standards and to increase their income, in order to secure their livelihoods. Thus far the African Cashew initiative has supported more than 333,000 small farmers in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Mozambique. The quality of the cashews could be greatly improved.

Goal: New jobs in the cashew production

Another aim of the initiative is to create new jobs in the cashew production, and improve access to local and international markets. Already around 5,800 jobs, especially for women, have been created. The connection of the farmers to local processors and cooperation with international companies has been greatly improved.Since the initiative was launched in 2009 the income of small farmers has increased by a total of five million dollars. From 2015 on this will reach 30 million dollars.

European Development Days - on 3 and 4 June in Brussels

Rural development is a key issue at the European Development Days (European Development Days, EDD) on 3 and 4 June in Brussels. With two events "Value chains for value gains - multi-stakeholder partnerships to boost agricultural growth" and "Exploring the land-drugs nexus" GIZ focuses on current aspects of rural development and food safety.


Thứ Bảy, 13 tháng 6, 2015

Nigeria: Non-oil exporters demand payment of N125bn NDCC claims

May 31, 2015

As a new administration led by Muhammadu Buhari takes charge of Nigeria’s affairs, operators in the non-oil sector have demanded the payment of N175bn worth of Negotiable Duty Credit Certificates issued to them by the former administration of Goodluck Jonathan in the Export Expansion Grant scheme. They urged the new administration to honour the certificates and pay them.

They had in a series of letters addressed to the Federal Government and the former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, lamented the failure of the Jonathan administration to fully implement the policy. The EEG scheme was introduced by the Jonathan administration. The scheme has export subsidies of 40 per cent, depending on the value of the local content.

It was designed to promote and grow the country’s exports, especially in the non-oil sector. But the EEG was suspended on August 22, 2013, when the Nigeria Customs Service stopped recognising the NDCCs used by exporters. Since the suspension of the scheme, there have been several calls in various quarters urging the government to lift the embargo.

In September, a month after the suspension, stakeholders in the export business claimed they lost more than N690m. In May, exporters in the agro-allied sector addressed a letter to former President Goodluck Jonathan, regretting the suspension of the scheme.

In the letter written by the operators under the auspices of the Federation of Agricultural Commodity Associations of Nigeria, the exporters alleged that the government reneged on the agreement to implement the EEG policy framework for 2014 as announced by the Ministry of Finance. The letter was signed by the National President of FACAN, Mr. Victor Iyama.

The exporters observed that the lukewarm attitude of the government towards boosting the non-oil sector had continued to negatively affect the growth of the sector, which formed the bulk of the non-oil exports and contributed over 80 per cent of the nation’s non-oil export earnings.

The agro-allied exporters regretted that while the government regularly paid fuel subsidy to oil marketers with interests and exchange rate adjustments, it refused to allow the utilisation of the NDCCs, which had been signed by the Federal Ministry of Finance and disbursed to the exporters as a ‘legal tender’.

The organisation disclosed that two recommendations of the EEG Implementation Committee Meeting had been awaiting the approval of the Ministry of Finance since 2014, adding that the documents were about the approved EEG claims of various exporters up to 2013.

The exporters said they were facing hard times due to the delay in disbursement of the NDCCs and the EEG claims being processed by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council.

Iyama said, “Exporters have the NDDC of over N125bn in their hands. They have been stuck with it for several years now. Many exporters are now wondering if they have been handed a ‘dud cheque’ by the Ministry of Finance.

“We are yet to come to terms with the fact that we have been handed a ‘dud-cheque’ by the government which is against the fiscal policies and financial guidelines.”

As part of his recommendations to the new administration, the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Frank Jacobs, called on the new administration to honour all outstanding obligations to the EEG.

Jacobs noted that this would rekindle the hope for export-oriented industrialisation and comprehensively review the EEG in a way that would further promote exports.

He said, “The NDCC certificates should be used to settle other financial obligations like the payment of corporate tax.” The Chairman, National Cashew Association of Nigeria, Mr. Babatola Faseru, told our correspondent in an interview that the NDCC documents are like promissory notes.

He said, “They are like cheques issued by the government. If the government says people should not issue dud cheques, then they should honour the certificates.” According to him, the EEG should be revived and the backlog paid and if there are reported cases of fraud, the government should investigate and genuine beneficiaries fully paid. The Chief Executive Officer, NEPC, Mr. Segun Awolowo, told our correspondent that the government had found the EEG scheme unsustainable, hence the suspension. He added, however, that the claims were being looked into with a view to restructuring a payment system for the beneficiaries.


Thứ Hai, 8 tháng 6, 2015

Indian Domestic Market Suppressing West African Cashew Industries

June 7th, 2015

In India cashew splits and pieces are faring better than W320. A tin of Jumbo Half is fetching above Rs7000/11.340 kilo whereas premium W320 is available for Rs6500.
Cashew processors situated in Africa are struggling to sell their produce of splits, pieces and other lower grades. As a direct consequence, they cannot compete in their own local raw cashew market against the Indian buyers. This is the reason for permanent shutdown of many cashew processing units in Africa and a few more units are expected to witness the same fate.
African Cashew Alliance should take immediate action to protect their industries.
Vietnamese industries are surviving as there is no competition with the Indian processors for their domestic inventory.
Source: World Cashew Blog

India: The many uses of cashew nut

Mon June 08, 2015

It was during the Cashew Trail, an annual event in Goa, that I vowed never to dismiss anything false -even false things are packed with goodness. Yes, the cashew apple is a false fruit on which hangs the cashew nut, that perfect snack which is often called `nature's vitamin pill' and is laden with protein and essential minerals (iron, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, copper and manganese).And while pouring feni (cashew drink) anglaise over cashew turnover (filo stuffed with cashew) Thomas Abraham, the man behind the Cashew Trail, went back five centuries when the Portuguese brought the cashew tree to Goa from East Brazil. When summer begins to edge spring out, the cashew apple turns from an emerald green into canary yellow, then borrows the red of the morning sun, ready to be picked off the boughs. Lace your sneakers, slather sunscreen, oil your bicycle and begin the Cashew Trail at the Mac & Cedric Vaz Cashew Farm in Valpoi.On the long ride to the hotel, breathe in the Goan air filled with the aroma of cashew apple, jackfruit and mangoes. The cycling trail concludes with a delightful barbecue. The fruit has ripened and plucked off the boughs.

Executive Chef Saulo Bacchilega can work wonders with the cashew nut. He throws cashew in with mango to make a delicious chutney. Forget the ordinary peanut, make cashew chikis. Roast a few nuts and the greens turn into a scrumptious salad. Heard of cashew ice-cream? It is the slurpiest.Make way for fresh cashew apple juice. Bake cashew cookies. Turn it into a creamy anglaise.

There's nothing quite like the joy of cashew apple under the feet. Imagine stomping the fruit in a rock-hewn pit, the feet dressed in a sweet slumgullion. Traditionally, that is how cashew, like grapes, was footstomped to get the juice to make urak and feni. Nearly 90 litres of cashew juice is boiled in a copper pot which is sealed with anthill clay. The first distilled product is urak (18 % alcohol content) and then feni (45 % alcohol content). Interestingly, Time magazine had included cashew feni in its list of `10 Ridiculously Strong Drinks'. In the farm, one can watch cashew juice being turned into an alcoholic drink.

Shakespeare had said: Sweetest nuts have the sourest rind. The Bard's rhetoric befits the cashew nut.


India: Kerala's plantation story loses its spice

Sun June 07, 2015

For a long time Kerala held a virtual monopoly on the production and export of various spices and agricultural commodities but of late has been progressively ceding ground to other states. Having already lost its position as the largest producer of pepper in the country, its ranking in the production of cocoa and cashew has also slipped.

"Andhra Pradesh has replaced Kerala as the top cocoa producer in the country for the first time. Till financial year 2012-13, Kerala had maintained its lead for the last few decades," said Venkatesh N Hubballi, director, Directorate of Cashewnut and Cocoa Development (DCCD). According to DCCD figures, in FY06, Kerala produced 6,490 ton, which slowly came down to 6,000 ton in FY15. On the other hand, Andhra's production grew from 2,974 ton to 6,300 ton in the corresponding period.

The story of cashew production is similar to that of cocoa. In FY'94, Kerala produced 1.4 lakh ton of raw cashew nut, in contrast to 47,000 ton of Maharashtra. But through the nineties Maharashtra augmented its production and overtook Kerala by producing 1.25 lakh ton in 2000. Kerala's yield that year was 1 lakh ton. Finally, in FY14, there was a clear role reversal with Kerala figures plummeting to 80,000 ton and Maharashtra's soaring to 2.36 lakh ton.

"Scarcity of agricultural land is holding back Kerala from increasing its cocoa or cashew production," said Hubballi. In cocoa's case, Andhra government is very proactive with many farmers adopting cocoa cultivation.

Over a four-year period till FY13, Kerala's black pepper production steadily declined to 25,000 ton from 34,000 ton in FY09. And during this time, Karnataka's production grew four-fold toppling Kerala in FY13 with a yield of 26,000 ton.

As of now, Kerala doesn't have any chance of regaining its top slot in any of these commodities. As farmers with large holdings have started farming cocoa, Andhra's lead will continue, said Hubballi.

In the case of cashew too, a similar situation exists. "Kerala could still improve its cashew production by utilizing unused paddy fields,'' said Harikrishnan Nair, a leading cashew exporter and chairman of Kerala chapter of Confederation of Indian Industry.

"Kerala's cashew productivity is just above 300 kg per acre, which we could easily increase to 1 ton per acre with the help of scientists," he said. But till the time an effective catalyst turns around the state's agri scenario, Kerala will struggle to arrest the fall in production.

Thứ Hai, 1 tháng 6, 2015

India: Restore sops for cashew exports

May 31, 2015

The Kerala government on Friday asked the Centre to restore the export incentive for cashew kernels to five per cent as its export dropped following a ‘drastic cut’ in the incentive.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here and submitted a memorandum, in which he said that the government of India had provided an incentive for export of cashew kernels under the Vishesh Krishi Gram Udyog Yojana (VKGUY) at five per cent for plain cashew kernels.

However, when the new foreign trade policy was announced, the incentive, now called the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme or MEIS, was found to have been cut to two per cent.

“While all other similar products continue to enjoy the MEIS at 5 per cent, it is surprising that the cashew industry, which creates so much employment to below the poverty line rural women, has been singled out for such drastic cuts,” Mr. Chandy said in the memorandum.It may also be noted that due to the ‘drastic cut,’ exports of cashew kernels in April 2015 have fallen by 18 per cent as compared to that in April 2014, he said and sought restoration of the MEIS rates of cashew kernel exports.


In a separate memorandum, the Chief Minister urged the Prime Minister to exempt the proposed Vizhinjam International Deepwater Seaport from the cabotage regulations.

Source: PTI

Ghana: Cashew trade gains 166% rise in value

Sat May 30, 2015

The price of raw cashew nuts have soared to an all time high of GHC4 a kilo on the local market after seeing a quantum leap in price in less than 18 months, putting a smile on the faces of farmers who are grappling to meet demand. B&FT has gathered that a kilogramme of raw cashew nut, which sold on the market for GHC1.5 in 2013 is now trading for GHC4, representing an increase of 166 percent.

The steep spike in price of the commodity has been attributed to high demand for the product, with supply unable to keep pace. Ghana currently processes and exports around 150,000-200,000 metric tons of raw cashew nut annually; local production of raw cashew nut varies between 40,000-50,000mt -- with the deficit bridged with imported nuts from Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, and Burkina Faso. Local industries presently boast an installed processing capacity of about 60,000mt. Data from the Ghana Export Promotion Authority indicate that cashew in 2013 generated about US$170million in foreign exchange earnings, making it the second-largest contributor to the non-traditional export crops.

As cashew is mostly grown in Brong Ahafo, almost all the processing companies and depots of exporters are located in the region. Traders previously bought supplies from Cote d’Ivoire through the borders, particularly via the Sampa border.
But the Ivorian Authorities in 2013 imposed a ban on the export of raw cashew nuts from that country through its border posts, and restricted it to the sea ports only.

The ban on cross-border trading has since starved local cashew industry players, especially processors who have to import raw cashew nuts from Cote d’Ivoire through the Tema and Takoradi Ports for onward transportation to their processing plants in Brong Ahafo at an extra cost. This, many processors say, is not economically prudent to do.

It is further understood that foreign exporters, mainly Indians, have also flooded the Ghanaian cashew market and have generated a fierce and unhealthy competition among themselves and local processors. The local processors therefore have to compete with exporters for the insufficient local production to do business, which has helped to trigger a rise in the commodity’s producer price, as traders have resorted to buying above the farm-gate price in order to gain significant market share.

B&FT has learnt that the soaring price and shortfall in supply of the commodity has forced many of the processing companies to shut down their operations, leading to a massive loss of jobs. Of the 12 processing companies in the Brong Ahafo Region, Mim Cashew Nuts is the only major plant still in operation. An industrialist and Managing Director of Kona Agro Processing Limited at Awisa near Wenchi in the Brong Ahafo Region, Raymond Taylor, has as a matter of concern advocated rationalisation of the cashew industry to make it a more vibrant and wealthy agribusiness job-creation tool than before.

In an interview with B&FT he said: “Ghana is currently losing the ability to use raw cashew nuts to create jobs and wealth locally as a result of over-liberalisation and lack of regulatory mechanisms in the system”. Mr. Taylor said it has become imperative for the government and other relevant stakeholders to picture the issue holistically in such a way that the country can use raw cashew nuts to craft an industry wherein processors can create and sustain jobs, and also maximise foreign exchange earnings.

He said: “There must be a levy on all exported raw cashew nuts, which government could use to support farmers to expand their farms in a bid to increase local production. When there is an export levy in place, exporters will be compelled not to purchase the commodity over and above a reasonably fair price so as to create an equally playing field for all industry players”.

The Industrialist emphasized that he is not against the involvement of foreign exporters in the industry, but the system must be regularised to ensure liquidity -- citing India as a case-study where it has protected its cashew industry with a charge of about 40% import duty on imported cashew kernels.