Cashew producer Ivory Coast aims to process more of its own crop for sale in the huge US market. Starting from the present yearly average of just 10 percent, producers aim to shell half by 2025, according to Adama Coulibaly, director of the Cotton-Cashew Council. This year alone the country's capacity should increase by 100,000 tons. Processing more nuts domestically will mean a shift away from traditional export relationships, which currently see most raw nuts sent to Vietnam and India.
Until now, "triangular trade" has left the shelling up to workers there before the nuts were shipped to the US at "an exorbitant price", said Losseni Kone, president of Ivory Cashew, an American firm specialising in cashew certification and trade. "The American market is worth 40 percent of world capacity, but accounts for just one percent of imports of Ivorian nuts," the entrepreneur told enca.com.
Business prospects are promising if the country can get all the steps worked out. "There is no cause for concern about the cashew market in the USA. We love it. Ivorian cashew is the best," Association of Food Industries (AFI) president Bob Bauer told AFP, promising the group would "help" producers.