From February 24 to 28 2020, TechnoServe_Bénin received in its premises in Cotonou and Parakou, the visit of USDA, donor of the BeninCajù project in the person of Mr. Waleed (Will) RABIEH, Senior International Program Specialist, Foreign Agricultural Service, US Department of Agriculture.
His stay was marked by an audience with the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, then the Minister of Industry and Trade, exchanges meetings with project staff and field visits to touch on the activities of the BeninCajù project throughout the cashew value chain (nurseries, growers, nut processing plants, cashew apple processing plants), and discussions with some clients and beneficiary partners.
«I am impressed by the number of effective producers already trained in the field by BeninCajù while the project is not yet finished. I congratulate you on this achievement. Women represent the largest workforce in cashew processing, and I am proud of the job creation that BeninCajù has created for this segment of the population....» Waleed RABIEH.
During his meeting with all stakeholders, he emphasized USDA's commitment and availability to support the cashew industry in its development in Benin.
He also congratulated and encouraged the staff of BeninCajù for their efforts and hard work in achieving the project's objectives.
« Although many problems still need to be solved in Benin's cashew sector, BeninCajù's progress over the past four years has been remarkable. We are on track to process nearly 50 per cent of Benin's production by the end of the project and make a positive impact on the lives of more than 50,000 farmers. This project is a model of the success that can be achieved in the African cashew nut sector. As USDA continues to invest in the sector, we will view the successes of BeninCajù as a barometer of what can be accomplished through the diligent work of partners like TechnoServe» Waleed RABIEH.
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