U.S. Ambassador’s Visit Celebrates Cashew as Cash Crop
Organized by TechnoServe’s Prosper Cashew, Tour Hailed as Positive Example of Agro-Industry Growth for West Africa
ABIDJAN, CÔTE D’IVOIRE (September 7, 2023) – Her Excellency Jessica Davis Ba, the United States of America’s Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire, reaffirmed America’s commitment to supporting the growing West African cashew processing industry during an official visit organized by TechnoServe’s Prosper Cashew project.
Spanning across Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria, Prosper Cashew has ambitious goals. It is on track to increasing cashew processing capacity in West Africa to 15% of its total production volume. It expects to create more than 4,500 new jobs–at least 50% for women–facilitate $61 million of investment in the cashew sector, and support processors to sell more than $200 million of cashew products into domestic, regional and international markets.
Krishanu Chakravarty, Chief of Party, TechnoServe Prosper Cashew, accompanied Ambassador Davis Ba on the tour. He also provided an overview of the five-year project funded by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food for Progress.
“It was an honor to host Ambassador Jessica Davis Ba and demonstrate how Prosper Cashew is working to transform the cashew industry sustainably through a localized, regenerative approach,” Krishanu Chakravarty said. “We are proud to have the trust and support of the U.S. government on this project, which is well on its way to creating a better future for the people and communities. We look forward to the guidance and support of USDA’s Food for progress program as we move from here and build a legacy of transformative change in the West African cashew industry.”
Krishanu Chakravarty shared the project’s biggest successes and challenges in a strategy session with the ambassador. She reaffirmed the United States’ support of the West African cashew processing industry and shared her satisfaction regarding the encouraging results.
West Africa is responsible for 45% of all raw cashew nut production today. Less than 7% of it gets processed where it is harvested. Prosper Cashew is changing that by working with processors like Dorado Ivory. The project builds partnerships, bringing together processors and other supply-chain actors, investors, and the public sector to keep the economic and social value of the cashew at its source in West Africa.
“Our team appreciated Ambassador Davis Ba’s interest in West Africa’s bid to become a leading supply source for premium, single-origin cashews for the U.S. market and beyond,” said Dorado Ivory’s Chairman Venkatesan Rajkumar. “We thank Prosper Cashew for promoting Ivorian cashew quality and standards, and supporting our marketing efforts.”
Dorado Ivory sent off its 1,000th cashew shipment to the U.S. market during Ambassador Davis Ba’s visit. Prosper Cashew plans to run a U.S. consumer campaign to promote cashews from West Africa.
“On behalf of the American people it is really an honor to see how our investments in the cashew industry empower beneficiaries in creating new jobs that improve the quality of life for those in the communities,” noted Ambassador Davis Ba. “I was thrilled to discuss Prosper Cashew’s impact on the communities and their livelihood, along with matters related to environmental sustainability in the local cashew industry. Having the chance to meet SITA, one of the beneficiaries and to discover the company’s unique journey was also an incredible experience and helped me reframe the way I think about how we are working in the sector.”
Ambassador Davis Ba’s meeting with Sarata Toure, the general manager and co-owner of SITA, a cashew processing unit, left a lasting impression.
TechnoServe’s project is set to continue through 2025 with a focus on strengthening and reviving existing cashew processing facilities, improving access to funds, demonstrating the business case for additional investment flows into the sector, and bringing together investors and high quality investees.
ABOUT USDA AND ITS FOOD FOR PROGRESS (FFPr) PROGRAM
FFPr was established in the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (Farm Bill) (Pub. L. No. 115—334). For a list of grant recipients and to learn more about FAS’ investments in enhancing and strengthening agricultural systems in developing countries, visit https://fas.usda.gov/programs .
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
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.
ABOUT PROSPER CASHEW
TechnoServe’s Prosper Cashew project has the scope and scale to create a durable ecosystem that will remove barriers to rapid industry growth and build confidence in West African business. Executed in Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, and Ghana, the five-year USDA funded project acts as a catalyst for the cashew sector, strengthening and reviving existing cashew processing facilities, facilitating access to critically needed working capital, demonstrating the business case for additional investment flows into the sector, and bringing together investors and high quality investees.
For more information please visit: www.technoserve.org/prosper-cashew
Marlyse Gakpa, TechnoServe Côte d’Ivoire: T +225 05 65 31 86 44; firstname.lastname@example.org
Trishna Gurung, TechnoServe US: T +1 202 785 4515; email@example.com