|Generating Employment and Incomes in the Cashew Sector in the Republic of Guinea|
Sandwiched between two of the largest cashew producers in West Africa, and sharing similar soil and climatic conditions, the Republic of Guinea inherently has immense cashew production potential. The increased enthusiasm for cashew planting and processing stems from a desire to diversify and increase rural incomes, as well as promote much needed perennial crops. Processing cashews brings significant revenues to Guinea and establishes a large workforce because cashew processing is a manual activity and therefore a big job-creator. Trends show that the margin for processed cashew kernels continues to rise and be a promising revenue earner.
Over a two and a half year period beginning in 2004, EWV/Guinea trained local metal workers and masons in the construction of ovens and cashew shelling equipment with the goal of increasing the incomes of small artisans and disseminating affordable cashew processing technology through the private sector. Entrepreneurs were also trained in cashew processing and business management techniques as well as effective marketing methods enabling them to equip and operate efficient processing units and tap into lucrative local, regional and international markets.
EWV generated significant momentum in the stimulation of Guinea’s cashew subsector, evident from measurable increase in entrepreneurs’ requests for more cashew processing and business training than the original project had intended. In two and a half years 60% of EWV trained enterprises were profitably operating by the close of the project. Gross revenues earned surpassed $117,000 and markets throughout Guinea, Sierra Leone, Europe, the US and the Gulf actively engaged in direct trade for Guinea cashews.