Fri Nov 13, 2015
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has given Zambia a 45 million U.S. dollars loan to help the southern African nation boost its production of cashew nuts, the bank’s unit in Zambia announced on Tuesday.
The loan to Zambia is part of three loans amounting to 94 million dollars approved by the bank’s board during its meeting on November 4 for three countries.
The bank said in a statement that the 45 million dollars loan represents 81.2 percent of the 55.42 million dollars total cost of the project, with the Zambian government expected to provide 8.31 million dollars while the beneficiaries will contribute 2.11 million dollars, representing 3.8 percent.
According to the statement, the loan would help in leveraging the cashew value chain through irrigation infrastructure for cashew nurseries and clone gardens, cashew plantation rejuvenation, establishment and infrastructure for cashew-processing and marketing.
The project will be implemented over a five-year period in 10 districts of western Zambia and about 60,000 stallholder farmers, who include 30,000 women and 7,000 youths are expected to benefit from the project.
The 10 districts were selected on the basis of their high potential for cashew production.
Currently, Zambia produces about 130,000 tons of raw cashew nuts per year, well above the local requirement of 50,000 tons, according to figures from the Cashew Growers Association of Zambia.