IVORY COST-Dekel Agri-Vision PLC, a United Kingdom-based agro-industrial company with subsidiaries in Ivory Coast, plans to start full commercial production of raw cashew nut processing plant in Ivory Coast in 2023 to boost local processing.

Dekel has increased its interest in the cashew project to 100%, following the acquisition of a 29% beneficial interest in Pearlside Holdings Ltd for GBP619,000 (US$763,165).

Pearlside is the wholly-owned parent of Capro CI SA, the entity which owns the cashew operation. The consideration is to be settled via the issue of 20.0 million new shares, which represent 3.6% of Dekel’s enlarged share capital.

Ivory Coast is the top cashew producer in the world with a gross cashew production of 1.1 million tonnes by 2021. The cashew sector presents investment opportunities for private-sector players.

Also, the growing demand from consumer markets such as the USA and Europe offers interesting prospects for companies active in particular in the processing of walnuts.

However, in 2021, the raw cashew nut business had losses of GBP346,000 which Dekel attributed the loss to the additional 29% interest acquired is GBP101,000.

Envisioning the future, Dekel said the cashew operation was currently transitioning to full-scale commercial production and the facility is due to start at an initial processing capacity of 10,000 tonnes per annum with the potential for further expansion.

The company expects the operation to be cash flow generative at the initial processing capacity via increasing labor shifts.

“With cashew processing operations in Tiebissou moving to commercial production on a large scale, we think this is the right time to increase our participation that we believe will diversify our revenues,” said Lincoln Moore, Dekel Agri-Vision General Manager.

The company is also optimistic that there is a clear line of sight towards building a multi-project, multi-commodity agriculture company, which has the potential to generate significant returns for investors and significant benefits for the local smallholders with whom we work closely with

The company’s portfolio also includes the established Palm Oil operations at Ayenouan, which are well placed to benefit from the high prices in global crude palm oil during the upcoming current peak harvest season in Ivory Coast.

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