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Cashew stakeholders discuss new trade season

Mar 7, 2016, 12:13 PM | Article By: Abdou Rahman Sallah

Stakeholders in the cashew industry recently converged for the annual pre-marketing season consultative forum where they discussed ways to improve cashew marketing ahead of the commencement of the 2016 trade season.

During the forum underway at a local hotel in Kololi, the stakeholders also looked back at the 2015 trade season so as to point out where it worked well and areas that need adjustment.

The forum was organised by the International Relief Development (IRD) in conjunction with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) with funding from the SeneGambia Cashew Value Chain Enhancement Project (phase 2).

Speaking on the occasion, Boubacar Sow, IRD country director, thanked the United States for the valuable support to cashew development.

He said the IRD has been working with the cashew sector in The Gambia to see that more improvement is done in the industry.

Kawsu Darbo, vice president of Cashew Alliance of The Gambia (CAG), said the forum served as a platform for discussion of issues of concern to the cashew industry.

Abba Sankareh, deputy Director of Department of Agriculture, said cashew is becoming an important business day by day as the groundnut market is dwindling.

He called on the cashew industry players to discuss ways and means to improve the cashew market for the year 2016.

He noted that the ministry and department of agriculture are in full support of the cashew sector and it has become a priority in the country’s agriculture plans.

Madam Patricia Aslup, US Ambassador to The Gambia, said the embassy is closely following the progress of the Senegambia Cashew Value Chain Enhancement Project.

She said the US Department of Agriculture funds the project to the tune of $86.6 million and the funds were generated from the monetisation of donated soybean meal sold in Senegal to major animal feed producers.

The project targets 20,300 small-holder cashew farmers and processors of which 6,000 are specifically targeted in the West Coast, North Bank and Lower River regions of The Gambia.

“This project serves to remind us of what can be achieved through partnership and collaboration,” she said.“We are of course fully aware that it is the stakeholders, growers, and traders who provided the crucial buy-in and commitment needed to ensure the continued success of this project.”

The US Ambassador assured that her embassy and other similar stakeholders will always work together to ensure that such projects work out well.