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Senegal plans to boost cashew and mango exports with new project
The Senegalese government on Wednesday announced that the country will work with UNCTAD to boost the competitiveness of its cashew and mango exports.
The two sectors combined account for only 2% of Senegal's total goods exports but provide income for more than 100,000 families in Casamance -- the country's southern region, wedged between the Gambia and Guinea-Bissau-- where poverty rates are among the highest in the country.
“By focusing on cashews and mangoes, the UNCTAD project will meet strategic orientations defined by the Senegalese government in terms of export objectives and environmental protection,” said Cheikh Fofana, a deputy director at the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development.
West Africa has become a major cashew producer, with three countries among the world's top five exporters. But Senegal, better known for peanuts, has lagged behind.
And the country is losing export revenue to Ghana, which currently processes a portion of Senegal's mangoes before re-exporting them to England at higher value.
According to Gilles Abraham Amary Mbaye, who works with Senegalese mango producers, “The share of exported mango is only between 12 to 15% of national production, and only between 1 and 2% of the production is processed”.
Increasing processed exports, such as mango butter or cashew oil, two inputs for the booming natural cosmetics industry, will therefore be key to adding value to the sectors, one of the project's main goals.
Publication date: 10/30/2017
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