Following successful progress, the African Cashew initiative (ACi) has entered its 3rd Phase with a new name: Competitive Cashew initiative (ComCashew).
The African Cashew initiative (ACi) was set-up in 2009 with the vision to increase the annual income of cashew farmers, and to create new jobs and increase the rate of processed raw cashew nuts. By adopting innovative measures, with the focus on five countries:BeninBurkina FasoCôte d’IvoireGhana and Mozambique. Remarkable progress has been made in the African Cashew Sector. More than 414.000 farmers have been trained on Good Agricultural Practices, which has led to increase in yield per hector as well as to an annual net income increase of USD 161 per farmer. In addition, the quality of cashew nuts has improved and processing factories have increased their capacities, leading to a higher employment rate in these regions.

ComCashew constitutes a new type of broad-based multi‐stakeholder partnership in development cooperation. GIZ, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (German International Cooperation), has been commissioned with the management of the project and the facilitation of cooperation among competitive private partners. European, Asian, US and African companies, all members of the African Cashew Alliance (ACA), contribute their resources and expertise as partners. Their contributions are supplemented by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). ComCashew benefits from the diverse commercial and technical expertise of these private and public sector partners. Read more

ComCashew in its first phase of implementation (2009 – 2012)

ComCashew, then ACi completed its first phase and four years of implementation (2009 – 2013) addressing all components of the cashew value chain − from production to processing to commercialization – with direct interventions. More than 250,000 individual farmers have been trained with 1.9 million members of rural households benefiting from this intervention. In 2011 ACi-trained farmers realized US $20 million additional annual family labour income. Applying Good Agricultural Practices resulted in remarkably higher yields and better quality of raw cashew nuts. In addition, income from cashews improved drastically the living standard and food supply for many smallholder families in non-productive seasons.

17 small to medium scale new cashew processing factories are fully functional, three more are in different stages of finalization. These 20 units receive regular technical assistance and business advice from ACi partners. So far ACi supported factories processed 4,250 metric tons of African cashew kernels worth US $31 million which were exported to European and US markets. The new factories employ more than 4,700 workers, 75% of whom are women.
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ComCashew’s second phase of implementation (2013 – 2015)

In the second phase (2013 – 2015) ACi, now ComCashew consolidated the training activities undertaken during the first phase. ACi placed considerable emphasis on establishing efficient linkages between farmers and processors and developing better planting material to increase cashew yield and quality. An innovative instrument of ACi’s phase two is the Cashew Matching Fund - a unique public private partnership model - and the only fund for cashew worldwide.

ComCashew’s objectives in its second phase of implementation

The Competitve Cashew initiative (ComCashew), then known as the African Cashew initiative (ACi) in its second phase aimed to

  • Sustainably increase the productivity of African cashew farmers (Production).
  • Establish sustainable in-country processing and make it competitive on the world market (Processing).
  • Help creating stable and sustainable business relationships amongst farmer groups, processors, buyers and retailers (Supply Chain Linkages).
  • Organize key stakeholders of the sector at the national and regional levels around shared goals; ensure the representation of the processing industry by a professional industry association; align the operations of the various donor programs supporting the sector (Strengthening the organization of the cashew sector).