AFRICA – The African Cashew Alliance (ACA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Cashewnut Association of Cambodia (CAC) setting an ambitious target of producing 5.6 million metric tons of cashews by the year 2029 in Africa.

The MoU outlines key areas of cooperation, including research, science, technology sharing, and training, fostering collaboration between cashew-producing nations in Africa and Cambodia.

Cambodia emerges as a crucial partner in this global initiative, being the second-largest supplier of cashews globally and acclaimed for its production of high-quality cashews.

As Africa currently contributes 60% of the world’s total raw cashew output, this partnership positions Cambodia’s expertise alongside key African players, including Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Tanzania.

The strategic alliance is not merely about increasing production figures but seeks transformative change.

 The collaboration aims to double cashew production and productivity within the next five years, focusing on raising productivity per hectare and improving overall quality.

The anticipated benefits extend beyond the quantitative aspect. The partnership envisions more abundant harvests, increased income for farmers, and an enhancement of livelihoods.

Moreover, it strategically positions Africa to meet the rising demand for raw cashews, both within local markets and on a global scale.

While Africa aims for transformative change in the global cashew industry, localized challenges persist in Kogi State, Nigeria.

The Farmers Forum of Nigeria, representing both cashew farmers and buyers, urgently appeals to Governor Alhaji Usman Ododo and national leaders to address the escalating burden of multiple taxes.

The Forum expresses alarm over a potential spike in produce payments from NGN30,000 (USD 21.14) to NGN 90,000 (USD 63.42) in Kogi State.

The spokesperson, Ibrahim Adam, underscores the urgent need for intervention, stating that the state government should alleviate the burden of multiple taxation, which has become unsustainable for farmers and buyers alike.

The breakdown of fees provided by the statement includes exorbitant inspection charges by the Produce Inspection Department in Kogi State compared to other states.

This includes interstate levies, loading and offloading fees, pass fees, state and local government environmental fees, and local government departmental fees.

The appeal extends to President Bola Tinubu and federal government agencies, especially the Ministry of Agriculture, to intervene and urge the state government to cease these levies.

Excessive taxation is perceived as contradictory to the ease of doing business, deterring foreign buyers and investors while burdening local farmers and traders.

As Africa forges ahead with grand ambitions in the global cashew market, the resolution of these local challenges becomes imperative to ensure the sustainable growth of the cashew sector in the region.

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