CÔTE D’IVOIRE – Sales of cashew kernels on the international market reached 25,806 tonnes between January and July this year, a volume up 57% compared to last year in the same period according to data from Commodafrica.

The independent commercial advice service N’Kalô citing Commodafrica reported that the commodity’s main destination was, Europe comes first, absorbing 30% of shipments, followed by the USA, Turkey, Vietnam, and China.

Côte d’Ivoire is the world’s leading producer of raw cashew nuts with an annual production of about 1 million tonnes, and the 3rd world processor behind Vietnam and India.

In June, the country raised its cashew output forecast for 2023 by 22% to a record 1.25 million tonnes attributed boosted by good weather

To explain the upward revision, Adama Coulibaly, the director general of the Cotton and Cashew Council (CCA) highlighted that apart from the good weather, sellers from neighboring countries have been smuggling their cashews into Ivory Coast as its market is considered more lucrative.

Additionally, he revealed that officials are trying to increase the volume of cashews processed locally adding that by June, local processors have received 249,000 tonnes of cashews out of a goal of 300,000 tonnes for the 2023 season.

The country has also achieved milestones in local processing as it 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.

To attain its objective, In June, the country 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.

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.

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