An international nonprofit organisation, TechnoServe, says its Prosper Cashew project is geared towards generating $1.5 billion from cashew kernel sales in West Africa by 2030. Chief of Party, TechnoServe, Krishanu Chakravarty, made this known on Thursday in Abuja during an interactive meeting with private sector operators, donor community, government agencies and other major players in the cashew industry. Chakravarty said the Prosper Cashew project, which is bringing about a big boost to the cashew value chain, would link operators in the sector to information, capital, innovation and relevant markets as well as generate thousands of jobs in the West Africa region. “Prosper Cashew will be remembered in 2030 as catalyst to transformational impact; $1.5 billion in cashew kernel sales; 26,000 new jobs; 133,000 women, children, and men indirectly benefited,” he said. While saying that the project has ensured an ecosystem that expands volumes of processed cashew in the region, Chakravarty said the scheme would bring about big increase in profitability within the cashew industry. Also speaking at the event, Regional Director of TechnoServe West Africa, Larry Ummuna, who expressed delight over the quality of participants at the event, said the organisation would leave no stone unturned to reposition the cashew industry in the region through robust collaboration with relevant stakeholders. “We have no doubt that as TechnoServe, in collaboration with all of you, that we can truly transform the cashew processing industry not only in Nigeria but in the region. ” For those of you who may not know TechnoServe, TechnoServe is an international not for profit organisation, and we work to deliver business solutions to poverty in nearly 30 countries around the globe. ” For us it is about impact, it is about results, it is about increasing income for smallholder farmers and entrepreneurs. We also take pride in contributing to the growth of businesses – small, medium and large corporations.” On his part, Managing Director of African Cashew Alliance , Ernest Mintah, lamented about the wide gap between the continent and Asia in the area of cashew processing, adding that concerted efforts are needed to change the situation. “There is a lot of work to be done in the continent as we grow processing (capacity), we are processing about 10 percent of production in the continent. But it cannot be done alone by the government or by the private sector. It has to be also done by concerted efforts of our development partners, that is why we of the African Cashew Alliance are very excited of the presence of Prosper Cashew Project being implemented through funding from USDA (United States Department for Agriculture) in the cashew sector. “We know the USDA project of Prosper Cashew will focus on processing, particularly attracting investment for processing in Africa and we will be able to change the landscape and expand job creation in the sector,” he said. On her part, Obidike Evelyn, Director Product Development, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, NEPC, said cashew is one of the major products that has received the attention of the Federal Government in its export promotion drive and in its quest to fully diversify the economy. She lavished praise on TechnoServe for the Prosper Cashew initiative and urged the organisation to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NEPC to ensure more collaborative efforts towards a more business friendly environment for cashew farmers and processors. According to her, the Nigerian market needs a unique selling proposition in bringing up data-driven innovations in terms of production, processing, marketing sustainability, certification and traceability.