CASHEW NUT PRODUCTION INCREASE: BENINCAJU PROVIDES CASHEW INDUSTRY STAKEHOLDERS WITH AN INTERNATIONAL EXPERT TO SUPPORT AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH.
From August 27 to October 1, 2021, the International Expert, Specialist of the cashew value chain, Professor Peter MASAWE, carried out, on the request of the BeninCajù project, a support-consulting mission for research and development.
Benin aims to increase its cashew nut production from 130,000 to 300,000 tons/year by 2026. The achievement of this objective requires a production which, in terms of seedlings, must reach 2 million per year to be carried out by the nurserymen that the BeninCajù project currently accompanies. In order to achieve this goal, it is essential to strengthen the nurserymen's capacity to produce high-performance plant material.
In this regard, TechnoServe has requested the intervention of Professor Peter MASAWE in order to benefit from his experience in research in the cashew sector for the benefit of Benin. It should be recalled that the interventions of the Professor started since 2019 in Benin where he had criss-crossed all the cashew production communities, and demonstrated to nurserymen and producers, the techniques of manufacturing Bokashi, a substrate based on local materials promoting an efficient process of production of plant material. His mission continued throughout the month of September 2021 to observe and evaluate the implementation of cashew seedling production and nursery installation techniques that he had taught the actors.
The audience at the Cabinet of the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries gave the top to this field mission of which he presented the exhaustive agenda to the Minister. Read more here.
« I started producing cashew in 1998 where I harvested a basin of nuts valued at 3,000F CFA. I knew BeninCajù in 2019 with a coach who came to sensitize and train us several times on plantation maintenance techniques, plant selection, good production practices, harvesting and post-harvest, cultural association. The application of this knowledge has allowed me to increase my yield. Currently, I harvest 15 bags of nuts per hectare per year, which brings me 300,000 francs », Biba SAKA KOTO, a cashew nut producer, told us with a smile when we went to meet her during the month of September 2021 in N'dali (474 km from Cotonou).
With the support of BeninCajù , in just 3 years, Biba earns 100 times more than what she always earned during 21 years.
She was born in N'dali in northern Benin. In her fifties, widow and mother of 4 children, Biba is an agricultural enthusiast. She cultivates several varieties including cotton, corn, soybeans, rice, yams, millet and beans. Her assiduity to the trainings of the BeninCajù project and her bravery earned her the title of Producer Leader (capable of relaying the agricultural trainings received from BeninCajù to her peers) and Responsible for training and literacy at the FENAPAB Parakou. Read more here.
The USDA-funded BeninCajù project, implemented by TechnoServe, supports a number of cashew industry stakeholders, including cashew apple juice processors.
TechnoServe has requested support from Partner for Development (PfD) to continuously improve the quality of existing cashew juice and develop new by-products; explore and test innovative packaging to reduce the unit cost and improve the affordability of cashew juice; effectively market and distribute cashew juice; and facilitate access to national, regional, and international markets.
PfD is implementing the PINEX project, "Pineapple Processing for Export," also funded by the USDA and aimed at processing pineapple for export for eight (08) years in the six southern departments of Benin and Zou.
Since 2020, the partnership between PfD and TechnoServe has made it possible to develop and launch on the national and sub-regional markets several varieties of cashew apple juice cocktails with other fruit species. These include cashew apple-pineapple, cashew apple-baobab, cashew apple-tamarind, cashew apple-ginger and cashew apple-watermelon. Read more here.