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3 Million US Dollars Boost For Cashew Farmers

Oct 23, 2009, 1:12 PM | Article By: Nfamara Jawneh

Cashew farmers in The Gambia have received a boost of three million United States Dollars through the Gambia River Basin Cashew Value Chain Enhancement Project (CEP).

The project funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is being implemented by an American Charitable NGO, called International Relief and Development (IRD) based in The Gambia.

To kick-start the project, the beneficiary institutions in the country on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IRD, at a ceremony held at their country office in Bakau.

It aims at maximising the income of fifty thousand cashew farmers and their families, thus directly benefiting an estimated three hundred and fifty thousand people.

In his welcoming address, the CEP Project Manager, Kebba Jassey stated that the signing ceremony would mark the commencement of the field-based activities of the CEP project in the respective areas covered by the partners.  According to him, the programme would last for three years running through December 2011, stating that it only targets certain regions in The Gambia, Senegal and Guinea Bissau.

This, he added, would be achieved through strengthening cashew production, enhancing cashew productivity and quality through the promotion of improved production and post-harvest practices, as well as promoting activities that will add value to cashew.

The three beneficiaries include: the National Cashew Farmers Association, Kombo Cashew Growers Association and Lower Nuimi Cashew and Fruit Growers Association.

For her part, the IRD Country Director, Jo Anne Yeager Sallah commended the various partners for their support to the project.

She said that the three organisations have shown their commitment to cashew production by supporting cashew producers.

IRD Country rep revealed that yesterday?s event would mark the beginning of the process towards promoting the development of farmers? associations.

She further revealed that the project would also provide training for the beneficiaries.

In attendance were the new US Deputy Chief of Mission, Ms. Cindy Gregg and members of the three benefactor groups, as well government officials.