Mamadou Bamba, President, Cote d’Ivoire Council of Cotton and Cashew (CCACI) stated this while speaking to newsmen in Abidjan on Thursday.
Bamba said that increasing cashew production and developing the sector would improve the income of farmers and those residing in cashew producing communities.
According to him, cashew is a crop with the potential to massively support the government’s poverty reduction programme.
He said that lack of cashew processing plants in the country had affected the full realisation of the crop’s potential in terms of employment and earnings.
“We are putting together a programme to train local cashew farmers and to distribute cashew processing equipment to domestic investors.
“This programme will also promote local consumption of cashew and cashew products to boost the domestic market,’’ he said.
Côte d’Ivoire is the second largest producer of cashew in Africa with an annual production of 500,000 tonnes in 2013.
The country can only process about 10 per cent of its total production due to lack of capacity and processing plants.
Reports show that more than 90 per cent of Cote d’Ivoire’s domestic cashew production is exported in its raw state mainly to the North American and the European markets.
Cashew’s annual revenue to the nation’s coffers is estimated at nearly 170 billion CFA.(NAN)