Following the AFOKANTAN and TOLARO GLOBAL factories, ANI (Africa Negoce Industries), a cashew processing factory in Benin, will soon obtain organic certification, allowing it to comply with EU and US regulations.
Organic certification is a system by which the conformity of products to a given standard is determined and confirmed. The final result is a certificate (proof of vigilance and seriousness of the collective or individual dynamics). Certification meets the needs of consumers who are looking for quality products and the expectations of citizens demanding environmentally friendly practices. It must be said that the global market for organic products is growing rapidly and represents an important opportunity for the actors in the sector to increase their income. The development of organic cashew nuts allows the marketing of good quality products, favourable to a healthy diet and the satisfaction of the supply demand of many countries, including those of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
As organic cashew nuts are sold at 20-30% higher prices than conventional cashew nuts, it is a solution for both producers and processors to increase their margins and ensure a certain sustainability of profits. In order to effectively support the creation of a national organic cashew market, the USDA-funded BeninCajù project, implemented by TechnoServe Benin and CRS, is opting to work alongside processors through its nut processing component to facilitate the achievement of organic certification. Read more here.
ACCESS TO FINANCING: BENINCAJU TRAINS SFD (DECENTRALIZED FINANCIAL SYSTEMS) ON CASHEW CREDIT ANALYSIS TOOLS
Subsequent to the professionalization program of the SFD (Decentralized Financial Systems) started since 2020, the BeninCajù project proceeded in August 2021 to the training of the field agents of these partner institutions on cashew nut credit analysis tools.
The cashew nut sector is today one of the opportunities for the improvement of incomes and the creation of jobs in rural areas. As a result, the Beninese Government's Action Program has retained cashew nuts as one of the priority sectors to be promoted in the framework of agricultural diversification. Likewise, many TFPs, including the USDA, the donor of the BeninCajù Project implemented by TechnoServe Benin and CRS, are joining the State's efforts by investing more in the developm ent of this sector.
However, notwithstanding the efforts of the various partners, this sector still faces multiple constraints, including the poor access of producers to appropriate financing. It is in view of this situation that the BeninCajù project has deemed it appropriate to improve the knowledge of financing actors on the cashew nut value chain and the business opportunities presented by the production link, so that they can provide effective financial support to this link. In this regard, the year 2020 was marked by several training workshops organized by the "Access to Financing" component of the project.
« The general objective of these training sessions is to equip the actors of the SFD to take appropriate decisions in favor of the financing of the production, with for specific objectives, a better understanding of the value chain and its advantages for the financing of the cashew nut production; a better knowledge of the business opportunities of the links of the production, the factors of risks and the elements of mitigation; the elements of appreciation of the requests for loans of cashew nut producers. BeninCajù is strongly committed to achieving these objectives.» Ella WAMA, Access to Finance and Gender Specialist/BeninCajù. Read more here.
orn in the town of Tchaourou, 359 km from Cotonou in northern Benin, Amadou, in his fifties, is the President of the Regional Union of Cashew Growers (URPA) Borgou-Alibori. Married with nine children, he is passionate about agriculture, particularly cashew farming, which he started 20 years ago in association with other crops such as corn and soybeans that he cultivates on an 8-hectare plantation.
He has known the BeninCajù project since 2016 which trained him on the spacing of trees to prune. Before, cashew was planted like corn. The dimensions were not respected.
"Before BeninCajù, I knew nothing about rehabilitation, pruning, my plantations were like simple vegetation. I produced 200 kg of cashew nuts per season. I had no agricultural or commercial skills. I joined the BeninCajù project in 2016. I received training on plantation maintenance techniques, plant selection, good production, harvesting and post-harvest practices, and crop association. The application of this knowledge allowed me to increase my yield. Currently, I produce 800 kg of nuts per hectare per year. " Amadou OROU GOURA. Read more here.
From August 12 to 14, 2021, Savalou shone with the 2nd edition of the agropastoral fair of its commune. The BeninCajù project financed by USDA and implemented by TechnoServe and CRS was a partner in the event. Located in the south-central part of the country in the Collines department, Savalou is a municipality in Benin that stretches nearly 58 km from west to east and covers an area of 2,674 km², or 2.37% of the national territory. 17.84% of the commune's territory is cultivated, i.e. 30% of the cultivable area, which corresponds to 45,300 ha. Belonging to the agro-zone of high food crop production (yams, cashew nuts, maize, cassava, cowpeas, chili peppers and lowland rice), cattle and small ruminant farming complements the national livestock population available. The economic potential of the commune of Savalou is based primarily on extensive agriculture supervised by the Agence Territoriale de Développement Agricole Borgou Sud - Donga - Collines (ATDA 4), local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the Union Communale des Producteurs (UCP). There is at least one Village Group (GV) in all 52 villages of the commune. These increasingly dynamic GVs are organized into unions or cooperatives. All this potential of the Collines region deserves to be developed and highlighted. This was the reason for the Agricultural Days of the Commune of Savalou in 2020. Following these achievements, it proved useful to create an opportunity to promote and enhance the agricultural potential of the commune of Savalou through an Agropastoral Fair. This departmental fair, which was held from August 12 to 14, 2021, brought together the actors of the agricultural sectors of the Collines Department and its six (6) Communes. The House of the Association of Development of the Commune of Savalou (ADCS) served as a framework for the events of this agropastoral event which brought together farmers, breeders, fish farmers and processors of agricultural products, institutional actors such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MAEP), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the prefectural and communal authorities, technical and financial partners including the BeninCajù project. Read more here.