Cashew Kernel Price Today

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Thứ Tư, 30 tháng 9, 2015

India: An industry with a humble beginning


Wed Sep 30, 2015



The cashew processing industry in the country worked its way up from humble beginnings in Kollam to eventually become the global citadel of cashew processing. All cashew kernels available in the domestic and foreign markets were for a long time only those processed from Kollam.

Cashew also moved forward to become a major foreign exchange earner. But now when the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI) is celebrating its diamond jubilee in Kochi, cashew export from the country is facing serious challenges in the international markets.

Processing of cashew on a commercial basis was introduced in Kollam during the mid-1920s by a Sri Lankan national, Roche Victoria. Later, W.T. Anderson of the U.S. settled in Kollam and started processing on a large scale by opening a factory. All kernels were exported to the U.S.

Cottage industry


CEPCI chairman T.K. Shahal Hassan Musaliar said soon cashew processing became a flourishing cottage industry in Kollam. The export of kernels had increased from 45 tons in 1923 to 1,350 tons by 1939. During the initial years of commercial processing, raw nuts were sourced from the country itself.

Import of raw nuts from Africa began in the 1930s.

Mr. Musaliar said during 1940-41, about 28,000 tons of raw nuts were imported from Africa and the export of kernels touched 40,000 tons by 1941. World War-11 saw a fall in exports. Processors like Thangal Kunju Musaliar, Vendor Krishna Pillai, Poyilakada Parameshwaran Pillai, Kidangil Kunnju Raman and the company Pierce Leslie took cashew processing in Kollam to new heights after the war.

Mr. Musaliar recalls that when the industry faced a crisis in 1955 due to which exports suffered, the then Union Minister of Finance, T.T. Krishnamachari, intervened and called a meeting of cashew exporters in Kotttayam during his Kerala visit. Mr. Krishnamachari felt that the industry seriously needed some guidance in promoting exports and this led to the formation of the CEPCI that year, Mr. Musaliar said.

Major market


He said the U.S. was the major buyer of kernels till 1955. In 1956, the erstwhile Soviet Union began purchasing kernels from Kollam and became the top buyer of kernels from 1969.

New international markets also began developing. Today, the U.S. is back as the biggest importer of cashew from India. During the 2013-14 fiscal, the country imported 33,898 tons of cashew kernels from India. More than 25 countries import kernels from India now, he said.

Source: http://www.thehindu.com/

India: Organised cashew sector seeks package for survival

The cashew industry in the organised sector is said to be passing through crisis and its revival, according to the industry, is possible only by government intervention through a package.

Speaking to BusinessLine, Sundaran Prabha, Vice-Chairman, Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI), said the industry was finding it difficult to run the factories for long to provide employment to thousands of workers, mostly women, throughout the year.
“About 50 per cent of the factories in the organised sector continue to remain closed from April 1, following a substantial hike in the wages by the State government; reduction in incentives for export of cashew in the new foreign trade policy; and high raw nut prices. Consequently, exports continued to decline, affecting the industry on the export front,” he said.
Total exports during April-August 2015 dropped to 41,658 tonnes valued at ₹2,068.45 crore at an average unit value of ₹496.54 a kg from 47,549 tonnes valued at ₹2,088.54 crore at the unit value of ₹439.24.
He said the Centre has reduced export incentives for cashew. This industry, being labour intensive, no excise duty is levied on the imported raw nuts.
Sundaran alleged that some of the new entrants, of late, trading in RCN in West African countries were buying raw nuts at prevailing higher prices and selling to processors in unorganised sectors here.
Add to this, India’s main competitor in the field Vietnam has expanded its mechanised processing capacity and started importing raw nuts in huge volumes from overseas sources.
(This article was published on September 29, 2015)
GK NAIR
Source: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/organised-cashew-sector-seeks-package-for-survival/article7703106.ece

Thứ Ba, 29 tháng 9, 2015

Not US, Indians are Going Nuts over Cashews


Tue Sep 29, 2015


Indians are munching cashews like nobody else in the world. The country has overtaken US as the largest consumer of cashew, making local sales more profitable than exports. Although the US continues to be the largest buyer of Indian cashew, processor-exporters are focusing more on the domestic market, particularly as the high cost of the imported raw nut has increased the cost of production for them.India produces about 8.5 lakh tonnes of raw cashew. About 3.75 lakh tonnes of kernels are produced from the total available raw nut supply of 17 lakh tonnes. "Of this, the export comes to around 1.25 lakh tonnes while the rest are consumed in India," said P Sundaran, vice-chairman of the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (Cepci). Indian cashew sells for $3.35-3.65 (Rs 221.1-240.9) per pound (0.45 kg) in the international markets, while it retails at around Rs 500 a kg in India, where it is conRs sumed in large quantities by the biscuit and confectionary industry. "In the past 10 years when the CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) of cashew consump tion in India was 8.6%, it came down from 4.1% to 2% in the United States," said R K Bhoodes, chairman of Federation of Indian Cashew Industry.

The higher cost of imported raw nut, a fall in the export incentive to 2% from 5% and increase in wages in states like Kerala have pushed up the cost of production for the cashew industry ."Raw nut prices have increased by 40% over the past year to $1,750 a tonne. Most of the factories are now going for mechanisation to cut the cost of production," Sundaran said. Cepci has organised a three-day RsKaju India Conclave' in Kochi from Wednesday , where local as well as foreign buyers and sellers wil be able to interact. This will be the fourth edition of the event and the council hopes to create more buyer interest in Indian cashews, particularly from overseas. About 500 delegates from India and 50 from overseas are expected to attend the event. Given the steady rise in consumption of cashew, the industry is making a strong case for including cashew under the ambit of plantation crop. Cashew kernel export from India touched Rs 5,545 crore in 2014-15 marketing year.But it is expected to fall in the current year, given the low global prices vis-a-vis the high import prices.

Infographic: The World's Getting Nuttier


Tue Sep 29, 2015

Thứ Hai, 28 tháng 9, 2015

India: Severe Shortage in Splits and Large Pieces

September 28th, 2015 

Jumbo splits/Premium Grade is moving around Rs7200/11.340kilo/Goa-Mangalore but supply is not catching up with the demand. There is no downfall in production but Diwali related consumption is on increase in the northern and western region.
Higher grades like W180, W210 and W240 are also not available in bulk quantity. 
Still the prices are unworkable to the industry.
This week may witness some improvements in the export market.
Source: World Cashew Blog

Vietnam agricultural exports fall

Updated: Monday, Sep 28, 2015 09:49 AM


Cashew is one of main products for export in Viet Nam. — Photo nongdien.com

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Export revenues of agricultural, forest and aquatic products totalled US$21.7 billion during the first nine months of this year, down five per cent over the same period last year.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has reported that the value of major farm produce exports reached $10.29 billion, declining 7.2 per cent year-on-year.
Further, rice exports reached some 4.47 million tonnes in quantity, down 10 per cent, and $1.92 billion in turnover, a decline of 15.7 per cent.
The ministry said rice markets had slowed during the last nine months, both at home and abroad, with export prices averaging $431 per tonne, five per cent lower than the level recorded during the same period of 2014.
Further, the volume of coffee exports reached 961,000 tonnes at the end of the third quarter, a slump of 31 per cent, with revenues of $1.96 billion, having fallen 32 per cent.
The average coffee export price was $2,054 per tonne, sliding by 0.23 per cent. While global coffee inventories had been high, as a new domestic harvest crop is expected.
Meanwhile, rubber exports saw a 6.6 per cent rise in quantity, at 740,000 tonnes, though the value of this export declined 13.7 per cent due to falling rubber prices throughout the world.
Also, the ministry said sufficient demand and proper prices stimulated the exports of pepper and cashew nuts. Pepper exports reached 110,000 tonnes with a value of $1.04 billion, while cashew nut exports reached 245,000 tonnes with a turnover of $1.78 billion.
Additionally, over nine months in 2015 the exports of major aquatic products, such as tra fish and shrimp, fell by 17.8 per cent year-on-year at $4.69 billion due to disadvantaged prices.
There was good news though, as forest products reported $5.03 billion in export revenues, up 6.6 per cent year-on-year.
Coffee quality
Viet Nam should attach special importance on improving the quality of coffee products over the next five years, said MARD official Vo Thanh Do.
Do said that technology and innovation in equipment for improved labour productivity will be part of this direction, with a plan continuing until 2030.
The country needs to not build more coffee production facilities, yet it should accelerate investments to change the structure of goods, enhance their added values, and expand markets, he noted.
According to the Central Highlands Steering Committee, Viet Nam has mainly exported raw coffee materials, which bring about low added values in the international markets.
The country currently has nearly 642,000 hectare (ha) of coffee plantations, which produce some 1.4 million tonnes of raw coffee beans per year. It exports 90 per cent of this yield, though a high ratio is defective and cheaper than similar materials harvested in other countries.
Last year alone, the country exported some 1.3 million tonnes of raw coffee beans, gaining roughly $3.55 billion in revenues.
Viet Nam Coffee–Cocoa Association Chairman Luong Van Tu said a farming household or an enterprise earns nearly $2 when it sells one kilogramme of coffee at the current costs, and this value is equivalent to the average price of a cup of coffee sold in import countries.
Meanwhile, a kilogramme of coffee can make up to 50 cups of coffee. — VNSSource: http://bizhub.vn/news/13128/vn-agricultural-exports-fall.html

Ivory Coast aims to harvest more value from farmed goods


Sun Sep 27, 2015



Cashews could hold the key to Ivory Coast’s agricultural future. The country wants to gain greater value from the vast quantities of cash crops it grows by processing them at home instead of exporting them raw. And it is looking to its booming cashew industry to provide much of a “value-added processing” push.

With production growing at 10 per cent annually for the past five years, Ivory Coast is the world’s second-largest producer. All this in a country that only started planting cashew trees less than 40 years ago. President Alassane Ouattara says he wants half of Ivory Coast’s 1.7m tons of cocoa grown yearly to be processed in the country by 2020, up from only 30 per cent now. “Our objective should be to process more of the raw materials we produce,” he told the Financial Times.

Currently some 95 per cent of the nuts produced are exported in raw form to India and Vietnam, the global centres for processing and significant producers in their own right. In the next five years, the government wants 30 to 40 per cent of nuts to be processed locally, says Malamine Sanogo, managing director of the government’s marketing board, the Cotton and Cashew Council (CCA).

“The raw product is there (in Ivory Coast) and there are currently very few factories,” Mr Sanogo says.
He argues that, in addition to creating factory jobs, local processing boosts sustainability and guarantees a stable market for future production. “It’s important to process locally because, if we don’t, some day India and Vietnam might say ‘we produce enough and we don’t want your cashews’. We need to process our own nuts and send them to markets in Europe and the US in order to compete with India and Vietnam.”

The billions of dollars made in India and Vietnam by processing Ivory Coast’s cashews could be brought home, says Sunil Dahiya, business advisory manager at the African Cashew Alliance. “The Ivorians are exporting all of the positive socio-economic impacts.” Singapore-listed soft commodities trader Olam is the first leading multinational to start processing cashews in Ivory Coast. In the central city of Bouake, Olam’s plant employs more than 2,000 people with another 1,000 working at a second facility. The need for a significant input of manual labour means many more staff will be hired if operations are scaled up by Olam or others, potentially creating tens of thousands, if not more, jobs.

Olam’s project is “opening the door to many new investments in cashew processing”, says Partheeban Theodore, Olam’s country head for Ivory Coast. “We are bringing infrastructure, technology, employment and skills development.”
He says the company also benefits from processing the raw nuts locally because of reduced transport costs.

In Bouake, new restaurants, banks and stores are a sign of a lively local economy, boosted by the increased purchasing power of the factory workers and their families.
Mr Dahiya says that, in the short term, both foreign and local companies need export incentives and tax exemptions on some materials that must be imported, just as the government once did with the cocoa sector. Ivorian companies, in particular, need access to working capital loans, he says, which neither local or international commercial banks are currently offering.

Aside from financing constraints for would-be investors, the eating habits of Ivorians and their neighbours in the region are another significant downside.
In the green fields near the factory in Bouake, farmers grow mangos, yams — and cashews. But when they choose a snack at roadside stands, they buy peanuts — not cashews — for 50 CFA (5p).

The reason is simple, says Mr Sanogo: “Cashews are produced by the poor and consumed by the rich. The price is very high and our purchasing power is weak.” Much scepticism remains. “Africa needs to get more from its commodities, but a blanket approach to processing won’t work,” says Victoria Crandall, soft commodities analyst at Ecobank in Abidjan. “One model does not fit all, and the approach needs to be, ‘where do we get the most out of processing?’ Otherwise governments are bending over backwards to get investors here and the governments lose money.”

Ms Crandall says cashew nuts and chocolate are generally not eaten by west Africans and the prospects of growing a local market remain slim.
In contrast, palm oil is profitable for local processors for the simple reason that west Africans are big consumers as it is a key ingredient of the local diet.

DekelOil, a UK-listed company producing palm oil in Ivory Coast and exporting it in the region, leapt into the market in 2008, beginning a long and delicate negotiation process with rural communities effectively to arrange joint ownership of land for palm tree growing carried out by the local farmers, says Youval Rasin, Dekel’s chief executive. “We found a way to secure the land . . . (so) that we feel safe and can invest.”

He adds: “There is a deficit of 800,000 tons yearly of palm oil in west Africa, so all our oil is sold locally.”

Source: http://www.ft.com/

Chủ Nhật, 27 tháng 9, 2015

India: VACB Inspects Kerala Cashew Corporation Office; Tenders Under Lens



India has overtaken US in cashew consumption: CEPCI

PTI  September 27, 2015 | UPDATED 13:05 IST



Kochi, Sep 27 (PTI) Cashews may be expensive to buy but India has overtaken the United States in its consumption, says the apex body of the countrys cashew exporters. Top officials of the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI) say it is wrong to describe cashew as poor mans crop, rich mans food in the post liberalisation scenario. "India is the largest consumer of cashew in the world today. Once America was number one in consumption of cashew," says R K Bhoodes, Convener-Budget and Finance Committee of the CEPCI. 

According to the official, the cashew produced in the country plus more than half of what is imported, is consumed domestically. It is possible because of the higher Gross Domestic Product (GDP), he said. "Ten years back, price of one kg cashew was something around Rs 400 and Rs 500. Now it is around Rs 800. Our standard of living has gone up because of our increased wages... we can afford to have rich mans food in our diet," says Bhoodes. 

Noting that consumption of cashew in the country has been growing especially post liberalisation, CEPCI officials say it had clocked a healthy compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 8.6 per cent. 

Bhoodes says India is number one processor, producer and consumer of cashew. But Vietnam tops in the export of cashew. "Our annual nut production is around 8.5 lakh tonnes. We import around the same quantity. We process around 17 lakh tonnes of raw cashew. "After processing, the yield is 23 per cent, which is 3.75 lakh tonnes processed nuts, out of which we export 1.25 lakh tonnes. Rest is for domestic consumption," he says. The consumption is mostly in north India where "cashew is part of the Mediterranean diet". Cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur and Lucknow are the major cashew consuming pockets in the country, he said. 

The official also announced that CEPCI will hold its Diamond Jubilee  Meet here later this week. 

PTI TGB VS SRY

Source: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/money/story/india-has-overtaken-us-in-cashew-consumption-cepci/1/484035.html

Thứ Sáu, 25 tháng 9, 2015

Fosetyl-Al EU temporary MRLs for tree nuts



According to a communication from the European Commission DG SANTE on 23 September, the Commission services have decided to present a draft act amending the period during which the temporary MRLs set for fosetyl-Al in almonds, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, macadamias, pistachios, and walnuts are applicable until 1 March 2019, at the current level of 75 mg/kg.
The decision was adopted after taking into account information received from stakeholders as well as the views of Member States expressed during the meeting of the Standing Committee on Plant, Animals, Food and Feed on 21-22 September 2015.
The draft act is still subject to consultation with other Commission services, vote in the Standing Committee, and scrutiny of the European Council and Parliament, before the Commission can formally adopt it.
Background
It was in November 2013 that the presence of fosetyl-Al residues were found on tree nuts exceeding the EU MRL of 2 mg/kg. As stated in Regulation (EC) No. 396/2005, the product had to be taken off the shelves. 
On 23 September 2014, the European Commission issued theCommission Regulation No 991/2014 as regards maximum residue levels for fosetyl in or on certain products. This regulation set a temporary MRL of 75 mg/kg for almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pistachios and walnuts, stone fruits, blueberries and other commodities during a temporary period from 24 September 2014 until 31 December 2015.
The temporary MRL was adopted in order to avoid significant market disruptions in the trade and to find a solution to prevent the occurrence of phosphonate residues in future growing seasons. 
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) also concluded that the proposed temporary MRLs were unlikely to pose a consumer health risk.
INC Actions
Since 2013, INC has been actively working with national associations of producers and traders, European and foreign trade organizations, and industry-related associations to seek a solution. 
In response to variability of lab results, INC collected tree nut samples (almonds, pistachios, and walnuts) from the main producing countries: samples from the Northern (USA, Iran, Spain, Italy) and Southern hemisphere (Chile, Australia), treated and non-treated with fosetyl-Al.
The fosetyl-Al and phosphorous acid residues of the samples were quantified by different laboratories in Europe and in the US by means of different methodologies, both European (CVUA-Stuttgart V.7 and V.8.1) and US (FDA-USDA) methodologies, in order to compare results between methods and laboratories. The results showed big differences between methods and also between laboratories. 
EU defines the MRL of fosetyl-Al as the sum of fosetyl, phosphorus acid and their salts expressed as fosetyl. No fosetyl was detected in any sample, due to its rapid cleavage into phosphonic acid. However, phosphonate residues were detected not only in samples treated with fosetyl-Al but also in samples treated with phosphonate fertilizer.
In conclusion, the lack of resolution combined with the fosetyl-Al MRL definition can cause erroneous product rejections.
INC submitted a position letter with the results of the analyses to the European Commission ahead of the 21-22 September meeting of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed.
In addition, INC submitted to the Commission statistical data on production, imports and consumption of tree nuts. In 2013, for instance, the production of tree nuts in Europe covered less than 15%, 6%, and 31% of the EU demand for almonds, pistachios, and walnuts respectively. 
Over the last months, INC has sent several communications to the Commission in a combined action with other stakeholders. INC also encouraged industry leaders and national associations to coordinate efforts.

Source: INC

Australia: Lock Your Bees Away as Almond Prices Skyrocket


Fri Sep 25, 2015


Hive thefts hit Australia's almond-growing region as bees are a valued pollinator The world's most valuable pollinator is under attack.Bees, responsible for an estimated $15 billion of crop output in the US alone, play an essential role in almond production. With the nut fetching record prices, the insects have become the asset to own ­ or steal ­as in Australia's biggest almond-producing region.

Thieves have stolen hives with as many as 5 million bees in the northwest corner of Victoria State and the robberies have intensified in the past two months. With the insects in short supply, police say there's high demand for hives in the local almond orchards, where farmers are cashing in on surging global demand amid a fourth year of drought in California, the world's biggest producer.

“From a producer's perspective, you can make a lot of money at the moment trading your almonds,“ said Marc Soccio, an analyst at Rabobank International in Melbourne, who specialises in consumer foods and rural economics.The thefts are “symptomatic of a relative shortage of bees. People are scrambling around to pollinate their crops“. Almonds stand out in a year where almost every other commodity from oil and coffee to copper and zinc has fallen. Almond tree blossom lasts only a few weeks. That means growers short of hives at the critical pollination period need to find bees fast to profit from the nut's soaring price.

“No bees, no almonds,“ said Trevor Weatherhead, a former beekeeper who's now the executive director of the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council, which is based in southeast Queensland. “There are a lot of people who rely on us for their incomes.“ The crime wave is proving a headache for the police force at Swan Hill, a country town about 350 km northwest of Melbourne, the state capital.

More than 150 hives have been stolen in six separate robberies, said Detective Leading Senior Constable Mal Simpson. In the largest theft, about 60 went missing. Only a professional could manhandle that many bees at once, Simpson said. A single hive might contain as many as 35,000 bees at this time of year, according to the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council.

The robberies underline the inextricable link between food and commercial pollinators such as bees. Worldwide, 87 of the leading 115 food crops depend on animals for pollination, accounting for 35% of global food production, according to the US government.
Olam International, the world's second-biggest grower of almonds, spent $18 million last year pollinating its orchards, according to its website.

This year, about 70,000 hives housing about 2.2 billion bees went to work on its Aus tralian trees, Rob Wheatley, general manager of the company's al mond orchards in the nation, said. “Without bees, we couldn't set an al mond crop to com mercial terms,“ Wheatley said.

“Globally, al monds are doing very well as a health snack and super food and there's high demand for nuts. Australia is taking advantage of that.“ Australia will produce 75,000 tonnes of almonds in 2015, an almost five-fold increase from 2006, and trails only the US in output, the Almond Board of Australia says. The figure will rise in coming years as younger trees start to yield nuts, the board says.

Australian almonds fetched A$12.64 ($8.86) per kg in July, a 51%jump from the end of 2014, according to the most recent data from the Board.

Source: Bloomberg

Thứ Năm, 24 tháng 9, 2015

Ivory Coast: Cashew boom with surging global exports


September 24, 2015




Salty-snack junkies, the lactose-intolerant and lovers of Asian food are providing an economic boost for farmers in the war-torn northern provinces of Ivory Coast.

The West African country is poised to surpass India as the world’s top grower of cashews. Ivory Coast output has tripled in the past decade, including a jump after the civil war ended in 2011, industry data show. At the same time, prices have rallied as global exports surged along with rising consumption in the U.S., China and India. Long a staple in Asian cooking, the nut increasingly is eaten raw as a snack, and companies like WhiteWave Foods Co. use it to make non-dairy beverages and ice cream.

While people still consume far more peanuts -- not technically a nut but treated like one -- cashews have become a relative bargain among tree nuts such as pistachios, walnuts and hazelnuts. Almonds surged to records over the past two years during a prolonged drought in California, the biggest grower. Ivory Coast, already the world’s top cocoa exporter, saw the value of its cashew shipments rise almost 50 percent this year to become the nation’s second-most valuable crop.

Almonds, Pistachios


The global cashew market last year was valued at $4.69 billion, compared with $8.32 billion for almonds, $7.33 billion for pistachios, and $6.45 billion for walnuts, according to the International Nut & Dried Fruit Council.

Rising incomes in the emerging economies of Asia are a major driver of cashew demand, especially in India, where the nut is ground to a paste for curries and sweets. Demand in the country, which also processes raw cashews for export, more than doubled to 240,000 metric tons of kernels since 2004, according to the African Cashew Initiative in Accra, Ghana. In China, purchases reached 50,000 tons, up from almost nothing a decade ago.

Expansion of the cashew industry has aided economic recovery following a decade-long civil war that divided a rebel-held north from the government-controlled south. A disputed election in 2010 sparked five months of violence and 3,000 deaths. Since 2011, the economy expanded 9 percent annually on average, and the government is targeting 10 percent this year.

Ivory Coast production reached 625,000 tons of cashews in shells as of June 30, compared with 185,000 tons in 2005, council data show. Next year, the country aims to produce 700,000 tons and pass India by 2017, Sanogo said. The country still doesn’t have much processing capacity, so it ships mostly nuts in shells, which are removed at plants in Asia and then sold as kernels domestically or re-exported.

Source: bloomberg.com

Mozambique: Govt Wants 25 Per Cent Increase in Cashew Production


Wed Sep 23, 2015


Mozambique's National Cashew Institute (INCAJU) hopes to increase the amount of cashew nuts marketed by 25 per cent to 100,000 tons.

Speaking to reporters during a conference on cashew which began in Maputo on Tuesday, organized by the African Cashew Alliance, the INCAJU director, Filomena Maiopue, said that 80,000 tons of nuts were marketed in the 2014-2015 campaign.

That, at least, is the figure that has entered the official statistics, although Maipoue, cited in Wednesday's issue of the independent daily “O Pais”, said she is well aware that an unquantified amount of nuts are sold, processed and consumed in the informal sector. She hoped that INCAJU could help organize the informal sector, bringing benefits to the state through the payment of taxes.

Mozambique was once the largest producer of cashews in the world, with an annual production of 200,000 tons in the mid-1970s. The current level of production makes Mozambique the fourth largest African producer, behind Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau and Tanzania.

The cashew orchard suffered severely during the war of destabilization, when trees were no longer cared for, and pests and diseases raged unchecked. After the war ended in 1992, the cashew nut processing factories were privatized - but the World Bank then deliberately sabotaged the processing industry, making full liberalization of the cashew trade one of the conditions for further loans to the Mozambican government.

The World Bank policy was designed to ensure that the cashew nuts were not processed in Mozambique at all, but were exported raw to India, where Indian processors would benefit from them. By 2002, all the cashew processing factories had been closed, throwing thousands of workers out of their jobs.

Belatedly Mozambique began to fight back against the World Bank dictat, and the industry revived, but using smaller factories, relying on manual, rather than mechanical, shelling of the nuts.

There are now 20 processing plants, mostly in the northern provinces of Nampula and Cabo Delgado, employing around 11,000 workers. 30,000 tons of nuts are now processed a year - which means that the majority of the nuts marketed still leave the country unprocessed.

Africa produces about three million tons of cashew nuts a year, which is half of the global production. But only ten per cent of these nuts are processed in Africa.

Source: http://allafrica.com/stories/201509240124.html

Ivory Coast: Lactose-Intolerant Americans Spur Ivory Coast Cashew-Farm Boom


Thu Sep 24, 2015



Salty-snack junkies, the lactose-intolerant and lovers of Asian food are providing an economic boost for farmers in the war-torn northern provinces of Ivory Coast.

The West African country is poised to surpass India as the world’s top grower of cashews. Ivory Coast output has tripled in the past decade, including a jump after the civil war ended in 2011, industry data show. At the same time, prices have rallied as global exports surged along with rising consumption in the U.S., China and India. Long a staple in Asian cooking, the nut increasingly is eaten raw as a snack, and companies like WhiteWave Foods Co. use it to make non-dairy beverages and ice cream.
  
While people still consume far more peanuts -- not technically a nut but treated like one -- cashews have become a relative bargain among tree nuts such as pistachios, walnuts and hazelnuts. Almonds surged to records over the past two years during a prolonged drought in California, the biggest grower. Ivory Coast, already the world’s top cocoa exporter, saw the value of its cashew shipments rise almost 50 percent this year to become the nation’s second-most valuable crop.

“Cashew nuts are now the cheapest tree nuts on the market,” Pierre Ricau, an agriculture market analyst at N’Kalô Market Intelligence Services of Rongead, a non-profit providing agriculture assistance in developing countries, said in an interview from Lyon, France. “The snack market keeps developing, but the industry has the wind in its sails when it comes to ingredient usage.”
Almonds, Pistachios

The global cashew market last year was valued at $4.69 billion, compared with $8.32 billion for almonds, $7.33 billion for pistachios, and $6.45 billion for walnuts, according to the International Nut & Dried Fruit Council.

Rising incomes in the emerging economies of Asia are a major driver of cashew demand, especially in India, where the nut is ground to a paste for curries and sweets. Demand in the country, which also processes raw cashews for export, more than doubled to 240,000 metric tons of kernels since 2004, according to the African Cashew Initiative in Accra, Ghana. In China, purchases reached 50,000 tons, up from almost nothing a decade ago.

“The market has undergone huge change,” said Rita Weidinger, executive director at the ACI. “The production cannot keep up, meaning there is limited stock available.”
Encroaching Sahara

Cashews aren’t native to Ivory Coast. Trees were imported in the 1960s to reforest the arid northern provinces to prevent the encroaching Sahara desert. They were mostly ignored as a commercial crop until the 1990s, when impoverished northern farmers sought alternatives to soil-damaging crops like cotton and yams. Cocoa is grown mostly in the south.

Expansion of the cashew industry has aided economic recovery following a decade-long civil war that divided a rebel-held north from the government-controlled south. A disputed election in 2010 sparked five months of violence and 3,000 deaths. Since 2011, the economy expanded 9 percent annually on average, and the government is targeting 10 percent this year.

“Cashews give hope to the north,” Malamine Sanogo, head of the industry regulator, the Cashew & Cotton Council, said in an interview from Abidjan. “Everybody recognizes that living conditions have improved.”

Ivory Coast production reached 625,000 tons of cashews in shells as of June 30, compared with 185,000 tons in 2005, council data show. Next year, the country aims to produce 700,000 tons and pass India by 2017, Sanogo said. The country still doesn’t have much processing capacity, so it ships mostly nuts in shells, which are removed at plants in Asia and then sold as kernels domestically or re-exported.
  
Prices paid to farmers averaged 410 CFA francs (69 cents) per kilo in 2015, up 37 percent from the previous year. The rally helped boost export earnings from cashews to 327 billion CFA francs in the season that ended this June, about 50 percent more a year earlier, government data show.

Nalourou Kone, a 47-year-old farmer in the northern town of Dianra, says the cashew money is changing how people live. Villagers are buying motorcycles instead of bicycles and houses made of brick rather than straw. His 10-hectare (25-acre) farm earned 5.2 million CFA Francs this year, triple what he got in 2010, and now he’s planning to expand by 20 hectares.

“It has changed many things in my life,” said Kone, who used to drive tractors for rice farms before he started growing cashews. “It has helped me get my children to school and build a small house.”

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/

Tanzania: Mkinga, Muheza Assured of Reliable Water Supply


September 23, 2015



CCM Union presidential running mate Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan has assured Tanzanians of clean and reliable water supply if her party is given the mandate to rule the country. Addressing an election rally in Muheza ahead of the October 25 general elections, Samia said, as a woman, she understands what it takes when a family lacks water. "I'm a mother, I know the difficulties women face when there's no reliable water supply. If you elect us for the top office, that will be among my key priorities," she pledged.

She said the majority of women have been spending most of their time looking for water, promising that the problem will be history as CCM has crafted strategies of a water supply programme for rural Tanzania.

She also said the incoming government will build markets and bus terminals where food vendors and motorcycle riders will have special areas to run their businesses. She also promised voters that electricity will be connected to all villages in the next two years.

Moreover, the first CCM woman presidential candidate said that all road projects that have been earmarked in the election manifesto will be implemented as planned. During campaigning in Mkinga district, Samia said the government will put in place affordable infrastructure that will be conducive for people with disabilities. She said the move is aimed at ensuring that the disabled have necessary infrastructure in place that will guarantee easy operation.

"If you elect us in power during the October 25 general election, we'll build infrastructure that will make them (the disabled) operate on their own with minimum assistance, " she elaborated.

She also assured Mkinga district residents of reliable water supply as there are major water projects which are meant to reach people in the villages. The projects are well articulated in the CCM election manifesto to relieve women of the burden of walking long distances in search of water. On health services, the presidential running mate promised to devote her energy on fighting the scourge of maternal and child mortality.

Towards that end, maternity wards would be equipped with all required facilities and medicines. She said if CCM emerges victorious in the upcoming polls, the incoming government would settle land conflicts by setting areas for farmers and livestock keepers.

The government will also direct its efforts in cashew farming since the Norwegian government is building three cashew nut processing factories in Mkinga district. "You should focus on cashew farming so that when the factories are complete they will have enough raw materials. But you should have enough and reliable produce to be able to enjoy the benefits," she said.

Source:http://allafrica.com

Vietnam: Cashew shortage to hit VN exports until end of year


September 24, 2015



HCM CITY  (VNS)— Cashew nut exports for the rest of the year are expected to fall due to raw material shortages, according to the Viet Nam Cashew Association.

Viet Nam exported 215,000 tonnes of cashew nuts worth US$1.56 billion in the first eight months of the year, a year-on-year increase of 9.6 per cent in volume and 22.6 per cent in value, said Nguyen Duc Thanh, Vinacas chairman.

Cashew processors and exporters are faced with a severe raw material shortage, he said, adding that as much as 50 per cent of small cashew processing plants in Binh Phuoc and Dong Nai were out of materials.

The price of raw nut materials remains very high, but export prices have not been good compared to the previous month, he said.A tonne of raw nuts imported from Africa was priced at about $1,000 earlier this year, but it is now at $1,300-1,400.

In addition, the appreciation of the US dollar against the Vietnamese dong has been another disadvantage in importing raw materials as firms now have to pay more in exchange for the greenback, he said.

The association forecasts that export volume will drop in the remaining months of the year compared to the same period last year.

According to the Department of Crop Production, the area under cashew cultivation since 2005 shrank by 122,200ha, to 294,000ha in 2014. In 2014, output was 345,000 tonnes, a 59,068-tonne rise from the previous year. This met only about 35 per cent of processors' demand. The country imports large quantities of raw cashews each year for processing.

Nguyen Van Hoa, the department's deputy head, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development had directed the cashew sector to enhance intensive farming and replant old cashew trees to improve productivity.

The main tasks in intensive farming include pruning off branches, use of fertilisers, irrigation and disease control.By applying this method, productivity at many cashew garden models has significantly improved by 30-50 per cent, he said.

With higher price of cashew nuts compared to the previous time, more and more farmers have been applying intensive farming methods.But he said the use of intensive farming methods among farmers in the country remained modest. As a result, average cashew productivity remains low.

He asked agricultural extension offices to give more instruction to farmers in intensive cashew farming.Localities should also improve management of cashew seedling production establishments, he added.

Source: http://vietnamnews.vn/