In a groundbreaking move to transform Ivory Coast’s cashew industry, the Ivorian Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food Production, Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani, recently inaugurated the state-of-the-art cashew nut processing unit in Loukoukro, near Yamoussoukro. This marks a significant leap forward in the country’s quest to boost local processing and elevate the cashew sector’s contribution to the national economy.
Afcott Cashew Sarl: Pioneering Progress
Developed by Afcott Cashew Sarl, a dynamic subsidiary of the renowned Kewalram Chanrai industrial group, the expansive facility sprawls across 20 hectares and possesses an initial processing capacity of 20,000 tonnes per year for the production of premium cashew kernels. The company’s ambitious vision includes enhancing the factory’s processing capacity to an impressive 50,000 tonnes by 2027.
Fadiga Youssouf, the Purchasing Manager at Afcott, provided a glimpse into their forward-looking almond production goals. He articulated the company’s plans to commence with 4,000 tonnes in 2024, with an aspiration to reach an astounding 11,000 tonnes by 2027. This strategic initiative not only aims at making a substantial impact on the domestic market but also sets its sights on conquering international markets.
“This investment significantly contributes to the private sector’s pivotal role in the processing segment of Ivory Coast’s cashew sector,” highlighted Youssouf, underlining the proactive role of private enterprises in the nation’s economic development.
Government’s Vision and Sector Impact
Adama Coulibaly, the General Director of the Cotton and Cashew Council (CCA), expressed confidence in achieving the government’s ambitious objective of transforming 50% of the country’s cashew production by 2030. He emphasized the crucial role of agro-industrial zone development in this transformative journey.
Cashew nuts stand as a key agricultural export product for Ivory Coast, holding the second position after cocoa, and contributing a substantial 9% to the country’s GDP. However, with almost 80% of annual cashew nut production being exported in raw form, the government actively encourages private sector investment in processing to add value within the sector.
In 2021, Ivory Coast’s cashew nut exports generated a remarkable US$961 million, with a significant portion attributed to trading unshelled nuts. Despite a slight decrease compared to the previous year, the country maintains its status as the largest exporter of cashew nuts in Africa.
The growth of the cashew sector and the development of advanced processing capabilities align seamlessly with Ivory Coast’s broader economic diversification and value-addition strategies, positioning the country as a formidable force in the global market.
Commitment to Modernization and Sustainable Agriculture
The newly inaugurated processing unit symbolizes Ivory Coast’s unwavering commitment to modernizing the cashew industry, fostering economic growth, and ensuring sustainability in the agriculture sector. As the wheels of progress turn within the Loukoukro facility, Ivory Coast is poised to emerge not only as a regional powerhouse in cashew processing but also as a beacon of success in the global agricultural landscape. The Afcott Cashew Nut Processing Factory stands as a testament to the nation’s resilience, innovation, and dedication to shaping a prosperous future through value-driven agribusiness.