Mali is one of the smaller producers of raw cashew nuts in West Africa, but the southern part of the country has suitable soils and climate for cashew production, and cashew trees and plantations are spread throughout the region.
In May of 2006, EnterpriseWorks/VITA conducted a cashew study in Mali for the Agricultural Diversity and Competitiveness Project financed by the World Bank. As a leader in the development of the cashew sector in West Africa, EWV was selected to conduct the study which provided the first detailed analysis of the cashew subsector in Mali. The study evaluated current production and offered perspectives for the future development of both raw nut cultivation and cashew processing and marketing. The objectives of the study were:
- To evaluate current raw cashew nut production in Mali and compare it to agronomic and economic potential;
- To map the commercial circuit for both raw and processed cashews, identifying the different stakeholders and their roles;
- To discuss the different types of processing technologies available, and those with the most potential for the Malian context;
- To identify the main constraints to the development of the Malian cashew subsector;
- To consider Malian cashew production in the context of the international market and price trends;
- To produce a list of specific recommendations for action for the development of the Malian cashew sector, and propose a general plan;
- To examine opportunities for carbon offset financing for cashew plantation establishment.