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  • Cameroon Revives Cashew Strategy, Aims for 100,000 Hectares by 2030

    Jul 5th, 2024

    On July 3, in Yaoundé, the Cameroonian government unveiled its ambitions for the cashew sector from 2024 to 2030. These ambitions are based on the national strategy for developing the cashew value chain, initially adopted in October 2018 and recently revised with the help of the same partners who contributed to its creation: the German cooperation agency GIZ and the European Union (EU).

    The strategy aims to plant 100,000 hectares of cashew trees by 2030, targeting an annual production of 50,000 tons, with 25,000 tons processed locally into products like cashew juice and roasted cashews. The implementation of this strategy requires a total investment of CFA34.5 billion, though the source of this funding has not been disclosed. The plan also includes setting up 10 pilot processing units and anticipates generating CFA50 billion in revenue from the cashew sector by 2030.

    Cashews, a cash crop suited to hot climates, are particularly well-adapted to Cameroon's three northern regions and part of the central region, according to experts. Both the government and its partners see cashews as an ideal opportunity to reduce the northern regions' heavy dependence on cotton.

    The first cashew plantation in Cameroon was established in the 1970s in Sanguéré, near Garoua in the North, as part of a government reforestation project. This period also saw the introduction of cashews in Côte d'Ivoire, which has since become the world's largest producer of this "grey gold." Côte d'Ivoire produced a record 1.25 million tons of cashews in 2023, with a local processing rate of 21%, up from just 6.2% in 2016. The country aims to reach a 50% processing rate by 2027, according to its Cotton and Cashew Council (CCA).

    In comparison, Gic Ribaou, a pioneer in cashew cultivation and promotion in Cameroon, produced only 33.6 tons by the end of 2017. The organization manages and has even renewed part of the Sanguéré orchard.