CAMEROON- The government has unveiled plans to revive the national strategy for reviving the cashew industry, targeting 100,000 hectares before 2030 with the help of the European Union (EU) and the German Cooperation Agency (GIZ).   

The strategy targets 50,000 tons of annual production, with 50% of cashews processed locally.  

According to the Cameroonian government, implementation will require investments of CFA 34.5 billion (US$56.9 million), which GIZ, the EU, and private investors will jointly provide. 

The pilot phase of the revived program will involve setting up ten cashew processing units as farmers are encouraged to plant cashew trees. The government anticipates the processing units will generate CFA 50 billion (US$82.5 million) in annual revenue by 2030. 

The plan also involves providing farmers access to farm inputs, extension services, financial aid, and access to the market.  

The strategy will mainly target the northern region, whose hot climate is suitable for cashew farming. The government revealed that the plan will help the region diversify its economy, which is currently dominated by cotton. 

The national strategy for growing the cashew nut value chain was initially adopted in October 2018 with the aid of the EU and GIZ. However, funding and management challenges made it necessary to yield results faster.  

The revived strategy will build on the progress made in August 2023, when the Institute of Agricultural Research for Development (IRAD) distributed 25,000 cashew seedlings to 34 cooperatives in the northern region via the national strategy. This was the most significant funding for the initiative since its inception. 

Although IRAD initiated a parallel project to produce a million seedlings via the same cooperatives, implementation could have been better due to limited funding and high input costs caused by disruptions in the global supply chain. 

Therefore, the government has been implored to ensure proper management and oversight in implementing the strategy.  

The strategy reflects a growing interest in the ever-increasing potential of the Cameroonian agriculture sector and economy. 

According to the World Bank, Cameroon recorded the fastest economic growth among Central African economies from 2021 to 2023, with an average growth rate of 3.4%.

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