ACA calls for enhanced collaboration to ensure sustainable growth of the African cashew industry

The African Cashew Alliance (ACA) has called for enhanced collaboration among countries, private and public sectors as well as development partners in the growth and sustainability agenda of the cashew industry in Africa.

This call was made in a speech delivered by the Head of Finance and Organizational Development of the ACA, Reine Dehode, at the maiden edition of the Tanzania International Cashew Conference (TICC) held from Wednesday 11th to Friday 13th October 2023 in Dar es Salam, Tanzania.

The ACA, as an industry alliance and the private sector lead on the Consultative International Cashew Council (CICC), she said, remains fully committed to facilitating strong collaborations between major cashew producing countries and industry stakeholders, especially among development partners, the private and public sectors to ensure the growth and sustainability of the African cashew industry.

This, she highlighted, will ensure the synchronization of efforts by the various cashew producing countries and development partners in key areas such as research, improved planting material development, processing, sector organization and regulation.

The ACA believes it is only through concerted efforts that the African cashew industry can achieve sustainable development and urges countries and partners to begin to think and work broadly as a continental industry rather than working in isolation as individual country-level sectors.  

She therefore, called on all cashew producing countries to remain committed and support the CICC, an Africa led international structure established in 2016 with legal powers and financial autonomy to ensure harmonization among countries towards promoting and regulating the cashew industry in Africa, as well as the many other national level associations.

“Collaboration is much needed if we must advance our industry. No country can work in isolation that is why we have national associations, farmer cooperatives, processors associations, the African Cashew Alliance and recently the Consultative International Cashew Council. I entreat you to adhere to these groups so that our efforts can be concerted, advocacies can be smooth and fruitful. Also so that, we can put in place policies not only favourable to a country but the continent as a whole,” Ms. Dehode said.

As the private sector lead, we are committed to guiding and equipping individuals while mediating between the private sector and the governments. Our role cannot be complete if the governments are not involved hence the creation of the CICC,” she added.

Aside from collaboration, the ACA also places much importance on knowledge and experience sharing. The ACA has therefore introduced several learning and knowledge exchange platforms. The ACA has also taken over the implementation of the Cashew Master Training Programme (MTP).

“With support from the European Union (EU) and the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), we will be expanding the reach of the MTP, including holding some sessions in East Africa. We urge all development partners, organizations, and individuals to register for the next Editions of the MTP. Online registration remains open until 20th November 2023. Interested participants can visit the MTP website, to register.

She said the ACA was glad to be the key partner in organizing the TICC, emphasizing that the event has come to stay.

The Tanzania International Cashew Conference (TICC) was organized by the Cashewnuts Board of Tanzania in partnership with the ACA as a platform to promote the Tanzanian cashew sector. The maiden edition was held on the theme, Insights and Investment Opportunities in the Tanzanian Cashew Industry.