Africa Has Emerged as Largest Raw Cashew Producer The production is contributing significantly to meeting the increasing global demand for cashew

Mintec Global
Spread the news!

India and Brazil were the major cashew-producing countries globally for a very long time. However, Africa has become the spine of the global cashew nuts production over the past two decades as the continent has become the most significant international raw cashew nuts (RCNs) producer. According to African Cashew Alliance (ACA) data, Africa produced 60% of the 3,8 million tons of global production, with Cote d’ Ivoire producing more than 1 million tons in 2021.

Most of Africa’s production is exported into Asia for processing before they are further exported to Europe and America. Though India remains a major producer, most of its output is consumed locally. Vietnam, the world’s largest cashew nuts processor, depends hugely on Africa for RCNs, importing about 90% of the continent’s production. 

Recently, Cambodia is becoming a significant producer and supplier of RCNs to Vietnam. ACA production data shows that the Asian country is the fastest-growing cashew nuts producing country globally. What accounts for this growth, and how does it impact the global industry and Africa?

Cambodian production

Cambodia’s cashew nuts production has seen significant year-on-year growth over the past decade. In 2012, Cambodia’s RCN production stood at an estimated 70,000 tons and reached to an incredible increase in 2021, with production estimated to be around 350,000 tons. As per ACA projections, Cambodian production is expected to be between 450,000 and 500,000 tons in 2022.

Cote d’Ivoire is the only African country producing more RCNs than Cambodia. 

Cambodia has, over the years, invested heavily in research on quality and high-yielding cashew varieties that are disease resistant and good for the country’s weather. The Cambodian cashew variety N20 is, for instance, considered to be one of the very high-yielding varieties in the world.

Unlike African cashew-producing countries, Cambodia is much closer to Vietnam, the world’s largest importer and processor of RCNs.

What does Cambodian production mean to the global industry, Africa

The production is contributing significantly to meet the increasing global demand for cashew.

“Vietnam today has a processing capacity of around 3 million tons of RCNs. Cambodian production is around 400,000 to 500,000 tons. Africa produces 60% of global production, over 2.1 million tons. 

Beyond this, Cambodia is looking to increase its local cashew processing. The country is looking to process its production locally to optimize the industry’s contribution to the economy, which will mean fewer RCN for export to Vietnam.

However, African countries need to work on increasing their production moving forward. Many countries are doing well in researching better cashew varieties. African government needs to preserve lands for production and prevent cashew farms from being destroyed for other purposes while also improving the efficiency of farmers through training and mechanization. 

Most importantly, Africa needs to increase its local cashew processing. Cote d’ Ivoire is a rising star in this regard. Governments need to create the right conditions and implement the appropriate policies to encourage local cashew processing. The Government can support cashew production by providing direct subsidies to local processors, granting tax exemptions on duty while promoting the various development banks to help the local processing sub-sector with loans at favorable terms and conditions and reasonable interest rates.

Source: African Cashew Alliance

For more information, facts and figures, become a member. Click here.