COTE D ‘IVOIRE – The Ivorian Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food Production  Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani has inaugurated a new cashew nut processing unit in Loukoukro, near Yamoussoukro.

Developed by Afcott Cashew Sarl, a subsidiary of the Kewalram Chanrai industrial group, the facility spans 20 hectares and boasts an initial processing capacity of 20,000 tonnes per year for the production of cashew kernels.

The company has ambitious plans to enhance the factory’s processing capacity to 50,000 tonnes by 2027.

Fadiga Youssouf, the Purchasing Manager at Afcott, shared insights into their almond production goals, stating that they aim to commence with 4,000 tonnes in 2024 and reach 11,000 tonnes by 2027, aspiring to make a significant impact on both national and international markets.

“This investment contributes to the private sector’s role in the processing segment of Ivory Coast’s cashew sector,” he said.

Adama Coulibaly, the General Director of the Cotton and Cashew Council (CCA), expressed confidence in achieving the government’s objective of transforming 50% of the country’s production by 2030, emphasizing the importance of agro-industrial zone development.

Cashew nuts are a vital agricultural export product for Ivory Coast, ranking second after cocoa, and the sector contributes 9% to the country’s GDP.

However, nearly 80% of annual cashew nut production is exported in raw form. To address this, the government is actively encouraging private sector investment in the processing segment to create more value within the sector.

In 2021, Ivory Coast’s cashew nut exports generated around US$961 million, with the highest value coming from trading unshelled nuts.

While there was a slight decrease compared to the previous year, the country remains the largest exporter of cashew nuts in Africa.

The cashew sector’s growth and the development of processing capabilities align with Ivory Coast’s broader economic diversification and value-addition strategies.

The newly inaugurated processing unit exemplifies the commitment to modernizing the cashew industry in Ivory Coast, fostering economic growth, and ensuring sustainability in the agriculture sector.

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