Prosper Cashew Mobilizes Key Actors to Improve Access to Finance in Cashew Processing
An event in Côte d'Ivoire brought together cashew processors, commercial banks, impact funds, guarantee funds, and other stakeholders
Abidjan, Wednesday (November 29, 2023) – Prosper Cashew, a five-year $27 million project implemented by TechnoServe and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of its Food for Progress program, organized a workshop today in Abidjan on access to finance.
Prosper Cashew aims to increase the level of cashew processing in West Africa, and financing is a major obstacle to the development of West Africa’s cashew sector, especially for processors. Improving access to finance is therefore one of the strategic pillars of the project. Together with ISF, a financial advisor, it connects participating cashew processors with suitable financial institutions. Prosper Cashew recently signed a partnership with AGF, a large Pan-African guarantee fund, to structure a joint-guarantee facility that will be targeted to supporting processors in the cashew industry.
The sector’s difficulties in access to finance stem from the risk perception that financial institutions have of the cashew industry. Nevertheless, the project notes that other difficulties could be mitigated by the introduction of more suitable financial tools, as well as by a better understanding of how the industry operates.
In order to explore these avenues and establish targeted financing instruments, Proper Cashew brought together processors and financial institutions with an interest in the cashew nut sector, including commercial banks, impact funds, guarantee funds and other key stakeholders.
The exchanges, which took the form of a workshop, provided an opportunity to share further knowledge on the risks and opportunities associated with the sector, and to explore innovative financing solutions and instruments better adapted to the needs of processors. “We hope that this constructive dialogue will lead to proposals and financing mechanisms capable of effectively supporting the sector and its players, in line with the prudential standards applicable to credit institutions”, declared TechnoServe’s Sarah El Ouadili, Capital Investment Lead for Prosper Cashew.
The workshop concluded with recommendations focusing on actions to be undertaken by Prosper Cashew, together with both processors and banks, to facilitate the implementation of financing instruments and solutions better adapted to the realities and concerns of the cashew sector.
Founded in 1968, TechnoServe is a leader in harnessing the power of the private sector to help people lift themselves out of poverty for good. A non-profit organization working in 30 countries, we work with people to build a better future through regenerative farms, businesses, and markets that increase incomes. Our vision is a sustainable world where all people in low-income communities have the opportunity to prosper.