Transforming the Cashew Industry

The cashew processing industry was TechnoServe´s first success story in Mozambique. This transformation had its roots in a TechnoServe industry study, which showed that a new labor-intensive processing model would create benefits for the rural poor and the national economy. A “model” approach to processing was developed in rural Nampula and between 2002 and 2008, Mozambique went from processing zero cashews to becoming the largest processor in Africa and the fourth-largest processor in the world. The industry now employs more than 5,000 workers, with annual revenues of approximately $25 million. The revitalized cashew industry is bringing cash into rural communities and turning them into commercial centers. Spin-off businesses such as small stores, restaurants and bicycle repair shops are springing up to cater to the expanding demand, creating more job opportunities and reinforcing the cycle of economic growth. TechnoServe is currently supporting the development of local roasting, facilitating links to major international buyers, helping implement greater traceability standards and rethinking the overall approach to how value is best shared and returned to communities.