CÔTE D’IVOIRE – Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s leading producer of cashew nuts has announced the completion of an agro-industrial zone dedicated to the processing of cashew nuts in the town of Korhogo as the country bets on boosting the processing capacity.
Extending over 28.7 hectares, the new agro-industrial zone is planned to house, in particular, 7 processing units, storage warehouses, a drying space, a cashew shell recovery center, and a processing station as well as wastewater treatment.
According to Ecofin Agency, this announcement marks the end of more than 24 months of work launched by the executive since May 2021.
This project implemented by the Cotton and Cashew Council (CCA) with the financial support of the World Bank has mobilized a total investment of 7.5 billion CFA francs (US$12.5 million).
Côte d’Ivoire is the world’s top cashew producer, with an annual production of about 1 million tonnes. The crop is the second agricultural export product after cocoa.
Alongside this leading position in supply, the country wants to play a leading role in the processing segment.
According to USDA, in 2022, the country processed 21% of its production (224,000 tonnes) but aims to increase this rate to 28% for the 2023 campaign.
Adama Coulibaly, the Director General of the CCA commented that developing an agro-industrial zone dedicated to cashew processing in Korhogo means creating the conditions for the installation of several cashew nut and apple factories, it also means creating permanent jobs for young people and women.
Although the sector has generally shown good progress in terms of processing for several years, the dynamic is mainly driven by multinationals, mostly of Asian origin.
However, last year, the government started a support program costing 9 billion CFA francs (US$15 million) aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of domestic players against Asian multinationals and boosting local processing.
More broadly, the initiative is part of the Project to Promote the Competitiveness of the Cashew Value Chain (PPCA) initiated by the executive in 2018 with the support of the World Bank.
This program, which is in force until 2023 also provides for the construction of areas dedicated to processing in the cities of Bouaké and Séguéla.