Upgrading in The Cashew Nut Value Chain: The Case of The Casamance, Senegal
By Steffen Cambon, Published in September 1, 2003
Cashew production in developing countries has been gathering more attention over the last decade. The development of cashew nut production is being advocated by governments and NGOs. As one of the most valuable processed nuts and tree crops on global commodity markets, cashew nut cultivation and processing is an important and promising sector for many developing countries. However, despite an important share of global production, sub-Saharan African countries have not been able to exploit a large part of the cashew’s economic value. Efforts to upgrade through processing and improved production strategies to increase economic benefits have been fraught with difficulties. For this study, the Casamance region of Senegal is examined in detail: first because of the increasing importance of cashew production for the local economy; second, because of pioneering efforts by an American NGO, ‘Enterprise Works’, to foster a competitive processing industry. The opportunities and challenges for this new processing industry in the Casamance provide valuable lessons for other developing countries wishing to capture higher value added from their commodity production.